This report describes the Federal Highway Administration's progress in identifying, improving, and replacing unsafe bridges on the Federal-aid highways and points out the need for more attention at both the Federal and State levels, if progress is to be made promptly. The FHWA has determined that about 32,400 bridges on Federal-aid highways are unsafe because of structural deficiencies, physical deterioration, or functional obsolescence. This number, however, does not include all unsafe bridges as many States have not completed their inventories. The cost estimated by FHWA to replace all unsafe bridges is about 10.4 billion dollars, a sum exceeding the capability of the Special Bridge Replacement Program. For Fiscal years 1975 and 1976, Congress has increased by 50 million dollars the annual 95 million dollars allocated for bridge replacement under the Special Bridge Replacement Program. This still does not provide an adequate sum for unsafe bridge replacement. Due to limited funds only about 1 percent of unsafe bridges were replaced over a 4-year period. Because of the magnitude and the urgency of the problem, the GAO has recommended that the States be encouraged to give attention to it and establish priorities and that the FHWA insure that adequate priority is being given to replacing unsafe bridges when reviewing State proposals for Federal financing under all of the Federal-aid highway programs.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This report is based on FHWA Studies.
  • Corporate Authors:

    U.S. General Accounting Office

    441 G Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20548
  • Publication Date: 1975-7-2

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices;
  • Pagination: 41 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00130413
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: RED-75-385
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 14 1976 12:00AM