Another measure of how Pa. bridges are in sad shape

When it comes to bridges, Pennsylvania has a dubious distinction.

A PennDOT review shows Pennsylvania has 577 bridges that don’t have backup protection against collapse in case a single, vital component fails and are designated in need of repair.

Spokesman Gene Blaum says about 19 percent of those are in southeast Pennsylvania but not all are owned by PennDOT.

“Thirty-two of them are owned by the state and are overseen and maintained by PennDOT,” said Blaum. “The remainder are owned by county governments in the suburban counties or the city of Philadelphia, and actually 16 of them are owned by railroad companies.”

Rep. Bob Brady (D-Philadelphia) says he’s working to bring more federal funding to Philadelphia for repairs but the budget stalemate in Washington is getting in the way.

“I’m trying to push on the transportation committee where we have some good friends there to try to make sure we do get our bridges done and not God forbid after something should happen,” he said.

One of the worst bridges is on I-95. It’s being replaced as part of PennDOT improvements to the Girard Avenue area. There are actually 69 fewer bridges of this type in Pennsylvania than a year ago.

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