36% of US Bridges Need Repair or Replacement

It will cost more than $319 billion to make all needed changes, but states are getting some funds from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, according to an American Road & Transportation Builders Association analysis.

Jean Dimeo, Editorial Director, ConstructioNext, WOC360, IRE360

September 7, 2023

2 Min Read
Concrete Bridge No. 2.png
Broken Spoke Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

More than 222,000 U.S. bridges—36%—need major repair or should be replaced, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s analysis of recently released U.S. Department of Transportation data. It will cost more than $319 billion to make all repairs, said ARTBA Chief Economist Alison Premo Black, who conducted the analysis.

States have access to $10.6 billion from the 2021 federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to help make repairs, with another $15.9 billion available in the next three years, ARTBA says. States have committed $3.2 billion, or 30% of available bridge formula funds, to 2,060 bridge projects, with $7.4 billion still coming.

Eight states committed more than two-thirds of their available bridge formula funds: Idaho (100%), Georgia (100%), Alabama (97%), Arizona (88%), Indiana (81.5%), Florida (80%), Texas (78%) and Arkansas (68%).

“The good news is that states are beginning to employ these new resources to address long-overdue bridge needs,” ARTBA President and CEO Dave Bauer said in a statement. “The better news is that more improvements are on the way.”

“Most bridges are inspected every two years, so it takes time for repairs and rehabilitation efforts to show up in the annual federal data,” Premo Black said in a statement. “What we do know now from other market indicators is that there are more bridge projects in the pipeline.”

Among other findings in ARTBA’s analysis:

  • The number of bridges in poor condition declined by 560 this year compared to 2022. At the current pace, it would take 75 years to repair them all.

  • Over the last five years, the share of bridges in fair condition grew. In 2023, nearly half of all U.S. bridges were in fair condition.

  • There are 31 states that have committed less than 33% of their available bridge formula funds as of June 30.

  • States have four years to commit formula bridge program funds for specific projects, giving them additional flexibility to decide when to make investments.

The full findings, including state-by-state rankings, are available at www.artbabridgereport.org.

About the Author(s)

Jean Dimeo

Editorial Director, ConstructioNext, WOC360, IRE360, Informa Markets

Jean Dimeo is an award-winning editor, writer and publication manager who has worked in construction publishing for 30 years. Dimeo was managing editor of Construction Dive, our sister publication about commercial construction, and the editor in chief of Builder, EcoHome and Building Products, all about residential building and remodeling. She also worked as an editor for a Spanish-language construction publication and as a building products expert for consumer magazines including Better Homes & Gardens SIPs.

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