ITD: Idaho's Bridges Need Attention

Feb 3, 2020

Idaho transportation officials say bridges are aging faster than they’re able to repair them due to a lack of funding.

The Idaho Transportation Department oversees more than 1,800 bridges across the state – and by next year, more than half of them will have been around longer than their intended lifespan. 75% of them were in good condition as of 2018.

ITD Director Brian Ness said while his department has improved pavement conditions significantly over the past three years, bridges are still an issue.

“We don’t have enough revenue to rebuild the bridges that are past their design life and at current funding levels, we cannot keep our bridges in the condition that they are in today,” Ness said.

Right now, Idaho’s entire transportation system maintenance backlog and prioritized projects add up to more than $400 million.

The American Society of Civil Engineers in 2018 gave Idaho a D grade for its bridges, while awarding the state a C- overall for its full infrastructure system.

There are a handful of bills snaking their way through the state legislature that would boost transportation spending. But only one singles out bridges – if passed it would give ITD more money to inspect them.

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