Report: Pa. leads nation in deficient bridges

    Pennsylvania’s latest data shows it has over 6,000 structurally deficient bridges, more than any other state in the nation.

    By S. Maham Rizvi

    Pennsylvania is a leader in dealing with crumbling roads and bridges, but even after three years of progress, the state still struggles to fix deficient bridges.

    The U.S. Public Interest Research Group released a report on state road and bridge spending last week.

    Pennsylvania’s latest data shows it has over 6,000 structurally deficient bridges, more than any other state in the nation.

    PennDOT and the Rendell administration have prioritized fixing roads and bridges since 2007 with transportation policy reform.

    PennPIRG state director Megan DeSmedt says the state has so many problems, mostly because it has so many old bridges.

    She says the report is just a reminder that Pennsylvania’s transportation budget should focus on updating bridges.

    “Drivers on average pay an extra $346 per year on car repairs due to rough roads and bridges in disrepair,” says DeSmedt, “and that figure is only going to rise if we don’t solve our transportation funding crisis.”

    Elected officials will now have to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to fund road and bridge repairs, along with other transportation expenses.

    Governor Ed Rendell has called for a special legislative session to figure out how to replace money he had been counting on from the proposed tolling of Interstate 80.

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