Whether traveling through the Fort McHenry Tunnel or the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge, it is
easy to take for granted all the benefits and efficiencies the U.S. transportation network provides
to our nation – both for personal use and for the many businesses that use it to transport goods.
From coast to coast, bridges connect the intertwining ribbons of our national transportation network in a safe and
While the average motorist may be aware of the heavy loads
and high traffic volumes that our bridges carry, most might
not consider how many of these bridges exist, what it takes
to maintain them, and more importantly, how the work to
keep them maintained can impact our nation.
The U.S. is challenged by an aging infrastructure and
increasing traffic volumes. Consider the following:
• Transportation for America reports that almost 70,000
bridges in the U.S. are classified as “‘structurally deficient,’ requiring significant maintenance, rehabilitation,
• The average age of an American bridge is 42 years, and
the expected lifespan of most bridges is 50 years.
• Nearly 200,000 of the roughly 600,000 highway bridges
are 50 years old or older, and by 2030, that number
could double. 1
In response to these ever-increasing needs, transportation
agencies throughout the U.S. strategically perform the required maintenance, rehabilitation, and replacement activities
to maintain the integrity of our transportation network and
the safety of the traveling public.
However, as the country’s departments of transportation
carry out their duties, the mobility of this network becomes
reduced due to the work zones that are created.