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The Most Traveled Bridge in Minnesota That Doesn’t Meet Safety Standards

imageForEntry20 HktDecades of neglect and lack of investment have left over 46,000 bridges in the United States in a state of disrepair. To address this, President Joe Biden signed into law in November 2021 the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which allocates $550 billion to rebuilding key infrastructure. Still, necessary repairs may take years, and each day, Americans make 178 million trips across bridges deemed to be structurally deficient.

A structurally deficient bridge is defined by the Federal Highway Administration as one in which any component – the deck, superstructure, substructure, or culverts – is in poor or worse condition.

According to advocacy group American Road & Transportation Builders Association, there are 618 bridges considered to be structurally deficient in Minnesota – equal to 4.6% of all bridges in the state. For context, 7.0% of bridges nationwide are considered structurally deficient.

Of the bridges in poor or worse condition in the state, the bridge on I-35 West over Cliff Rd. in Dakota County – built in 1959 – carries the largest number of commuters and travelers, with an estimated 92,000 daily crossings on average.

It is important to note that structurally deficient bridges do not necessarily pose imminent risk to those crossing. They do, however, require significant investment to avoid becoming hazardous or to avoid restrictions on the weight or speed of vehicles crossing.

State Most traveled bridge in poor condition Location Year built Avg. daily crossings
Alabama I-459 over the Cahaba River Jefferson County 1981 99,312
Alaska South Tongass Highway over Hoadley Creek Ketchikan Gateway Borough 1957 17,165
Arizona Shea Boulevard over Indian Bend Wash Maricopa County 1976 48,700
Arkansas I-30, Sec 23 over the Arkansas River Pulaski County 1958 119,000
California U.S. Highway 101 over Kester Ave Los Angeles County 1959 293,000
Colorado I-70 over U.S. Route 6 Denver County 1964 157,000
Connecticut I-95 over Metro North New Haven County 1956 136,400
Delaware Red Mill Rd. over stream Mill Pond New Castle County 1971 22,887
Florida Southbound I-95 over Sistrunk Blvd. Broward County 1975 156,000
Georgia I-75 over Swamp Creek Whitfield County 1961 66,210
Hawaii Kalaniana’ole Highway over Niu Stream Honolulu County 1934 58,500
Idaho State Highway 33 over the Teton River Madison County 1971 22,000
Illinois I-90 Express over Stewart Ave. Cook County 1962 203,100
Indiana I-65 over Ohio St. Marion County 1974 186,289
Iowa Centennial Bridge Scott County 1940 30,600
Kansas College Blvd. over Indian Creek Johnson County 1976 21,800
Kentucky I-65 over Grade Ln. Jefferson County 1988 166,770
Louisiana Calcasieu River Bridge Calcasieu Parish 1952 86,600
Maine I-295 Northbound over Route 88 Cumberland County 1959 27,320
Maryland I-695 over U.S. Route 40 Baltimore County 1958 188,860
Massachusetts I-93 Northbound over Route 24 Northbound Norfolk County 1958 193,356
Michigan I-696 over I-75 Oakland County 1971 209,200
Minnesota I-35W over Cliff Rd. Dakota County 1959 92,000
Mississippi I-20 over Lynch St. Hinds County 1969 26,000
Missouri I-270E over Conway Rd. St. Louis County 1964 196,655
Montana S Higgins Ave. over Clark Fork River Pedestrian Paths Missoula County 1962 15,552
Nebraska U.S. Route 75 over J St. Douglas County 1970 85,640
Nevada I-515 over Desert Inn Rd. Clark County 1981 127,000
New Hampshire I-89 over South St. Merrimack County 1959 51,032
New Jersey NJ Route 495 over Paterson Plank Rd. Hudson County 1939 159,000
New Mexico I-25 over Gibson Blvd. Bernalillo County 1961 117,053
New York I-278 over 15th St. Kings County 1962 190,572
North Carolina I-40 over Walnut Creek Wake County 1982 118,000
North Dakota Demers Ave over BNSF Rail Road Grand Forks County 1972 18,500
Ohio I-270 Ramp over Ramp I-270 West Bound to state Route 315 Southbound Franklin County 1969 143,208
Oklahoma I-44 Southbound over Oklahoma River Oklahoma County 1975 62,800
Oregon Morrison St. over Willamette River Multnomah County 1958 55,335
Pennsylvania I-95 over Fraley St. Philadelphia County 1967 202,857
Rhode Island I-95 over U.S. Route 6 and Woonasquatucket River Providence County 1964 171,707
South Carolina I-85 over Laurel Creek Greenville County 1960 119,700
South Dakota U.S. Route 12 over Moccasin Creek Brown County 1954 19,426
Tennessee I-24 over Mill Creek Davidson County 1958 167,340
Texas I-610 over Houston Ship Channel Harris County 1973 171,423
Utah I-15 Southbound over state Route 193 Davis County 1966 130,000
Vermont I-89 Northbound over Connecticut River Windsor County 1966 20,734
Virginia I-95 over state Route 608 Chesterfield County 1958 111,000
Washington SW Spokane St. Bridge over Duwamish Waterway King County 1983 108,179
West Virginia I-64 Ramp B over state Route 25 Kanawha County 1965 68,700
Wisconsin I-43 Freeway over Glendale Ave. Milwaukee County 1960 132,000
Wyoming U.S. Route 26 over Flat Creek Teton County 1969 26,260
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