Aging Bridges Impact Truck Travel

June 12, 2014

Aging Bridges

The trucking industry faces many challenges, not the least of which is the aging and deterioration of America's roads and bridges. Deteriorating bridges in particular are a looming crisis across the nation, effecting transportation across the U.S. Truckers are particularly hard-hit by this issue.

Restricted access.

In many areas, such as Tacoma Puyallup River Bridge, deficient structures are are resulting in the imposition of restrictions on vehicles, limiting access to those under 10 tons. The weight limit means limited access not only to semi trucks, but to school buses, transit buses, and emergency vehicles as well.

A losing battle.

Detouring larger vehicles to other routes as the result of weight restrictions often results in lost traveling time and transportation delays. The trickle-down also means added fuel costs and missed delivery times as well.

Limited funds.

Due to the high cost of replacing aged bridges, the limited repair funds available must be allocated to for each city's worst safety offenders. David Goldberg, communications director for Transportation for America, stated the prevalence of deteriorating bridges across the U.S. point to a failing system. Motorists and residents need to be aware of the seriousness of the problem, however little attention is given to bridge conditions, which pushes the issue farther down on the nation's priority list.

Adding insult to injury.

States such as Idaho, Washington, and more have little hope for repairs and upgrades as legislation repeatedly fails to pass providing the funds necessary for repairs to their aging transportation systems.

Will your route be effected?

State and local inspections of the nation's 66,000 structures are performed on a one or two year rotating schedule, imposing weight limits on bridges scoring 4 or below on the current 0-9 scale. If a bridge on your route is deemed deficient, weight restrictions will be posted.

Need to stay on top of the latest news and safety information? You can count on, the trucking equipment experts.

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