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Report finds more than 400 'structurally deficient' bridges in Oregon

A study by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association found that 422 bridges were classified as structurally deficient — 5.2 percent of all bridges in the state.

Posted: Apr 3, 2019 11:34 AM
Updated: Apr 3, 2019 4:33 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Many of Oregon's bridges are falling into serious disrepair — with more becoming "structurally deficient" every year, according to a report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).

Of 8,161 total bridges in the state that were identified in the study, ARTBA found that 422, or 5.2 percent, could be classified as structurally deficient — meaning that "one of the key elements is in poor or worse condition."

In 2014, the organization found only 403 bridges in the same state of disrepair.

The report also identified a list of the most traveled bridges in Oregon that fall into this structurally deficient category. While many of them are in the urban areas near Portland and Salem, at least two were in Southern Oregon.

The US 199 bridge over the Rogue River in Josephine County (Caveman Bridge) was built in 1931 and sees some 30,900 crossings per day, according to the report. In Jackson County, the report found, the Barnett Road overpass on I-5 sees some 17,000 crossings each day and was built in 1962.

Both bridges are categorized in the report as structurally deficient — but Gary Leaming with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) said that both have seen major repairs within the past year. NewsWatch 12 reported on the ongoing Caveman Bridge project in September, which concluded several weeks ago. The Barnett overpass saw renovations that were completed in 2018.

Leaming also could not account for the number of crossings reported by ARTBA on the Caveman Bridge. According to ODOT numbers, the bridge sees roughly 19,000 crossings per day — or something like 38,000, if the adjacent Rogue River crossing is included. Neither number seems to jive with the ARTBA report.

According to ARTBA, a total of 2,007 bridges have been identified by the state as being in need of repair — with an estimated price tag of $1.8 billion to complete the task. In 2014, only 1,941 needed repair.

In the report, ARTBA says that the data used came from a federal study. And in many cases, the problems are federal as well, with some of the bridges identified coming from the Interstate Highway System.

"A recent analysis of U.S. DOT data finds there are nearly 235,000 U.S. bridges in need of some structural repair, rehabilitation or replacement. This includes 47,000 structurally deficient bridges that are in poor condition," ARTBA said.

The organization isn't without an opinion on the matter, pushing for Congress to find a "permanent revenue solution for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) in a manner that robustly grows highway and bridge investment."

"Status quo federal funding for America’s transportation network won’t fix this problem," ARTBA said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 391099

Reported Deaths: 5161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60298839
Washington41981395
Marion39886506
Clackamas32773378
Lane30113355
Jackson24880360
Deschutes23557185
Umatilla15126180
Linn14637179
Douglas13375291
Josephine10148244
Yamhill9762143
Klamath9053146
Polk8212100
Benton609738
Malheur592487
Coos5664106
Columbia430455
Jefferson420266
Lincoln362152
Union338755
Crook334056
Wasco316146
Clatsop261835
Baker219833
Tillamook216645
Hood River213737
Morrow197525
Curry191939
Harney119933
Grant108515
Lake105416
Wallowa75713
Sherman1913
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

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Reported Deaths: 74473
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152713227166
San Diego4069274335
Riverside3876785358
San Bernardino3745435962
Orange3343985725
Sacramento1683542443
Kern1576621804
Fresno1567952254
Santa Clara1520891925
Alameda1251761504
San Joaquin1075591834
Ventura1040031190
Contra Costa1037721046
Stanislaus915481417
Tulare860871096
San Francisco56909669
San Mateo56320629
Monterey52488626
Solano47671357
Santa Barbara47293549
Merced45053667
Sonoma43168412
Placer42141470
Imperial38477773
Kings35206363
San Luis Obispo31476359
Madera26194311
Shasta26081451
Butte25455314
Santa Cruz22248224
Yolo21558257
Marin18465249
El Dorado18301166
Sutter14571186
Napa13420104
Yuba1076089
Tehama10275130
Humboldt10158119
Nevada10019105
Mendocino857197
Lassen796756
San Benito781578
Tuolumne773090
Lake7043110
Amador577366
Siskiyou474755
Glenn457436
Calaveras441588
Del Norte375542
Colusa325220
Inyo256646
Plumas19367
Mono18784
Mariposa160018
Trinity99717
Modoc7655
Unassigned3220
Sierra2180
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