Report classifies 536 bridges in Colorado as ‘structurally deficient’

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DENVER -- A report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association says 536 bridges in Colorado -- 6 percent of the state's total -- are structurally compromised and 902 bridges are functionally obsolete.

And without congressional action there will be no support for new road, bridge or public transportation projects in the state in fiscal year 2015, which begins Oct. 1.

It's estimated it would take about $2.1 billion to fix 2,513 bridges in the state.

"Letting the Highway Trust Fund investment dry up would have a devastating impact on bridge repairs," says ARTBA chief economist Alison Premo Black, noting the trust fund supports an average $91.9 million annually in Colorado bridge work. "It would set back bridge improvements for years.

"The bridge problem sits squarely on the backs of our elected officials. The state transportation department can't just wave a magic wand and make the problem go away. It takes committed investment by our legislators. Members of Congress need to come to grips with that. Some of our most heavily traveled bridges were built in the 1930s. Most are more than 40 years old."

Ten of the worst bridges are in metro Denver according to the report.

A CDOT spokesperson says the process to repair nine of the 10 bridges is already underway.  They're still waiting for funding to begin work on the 10th bridge..

ARTBA says Colorado ranks 30th in the number of structurally deficient bridges and ranks 40th in the percentage of its bridges that are structurally deficient.

The full report can be read on ARTBA's website.


      • cssidenver

        Jody – there is no doubt that many bridges in Colorado need major repairs. The bridge “collapse” you perhaps reference had nothing to do with wear and tear or deferred maintenance. A huge I-Beam was to be put in place but after it was hoisted across the span the highway crew ran out of daylight so they left the I-Beam “resting” in place but not secured in any way. The beam was left such that the tensile strength was weaker(flat vs on its wider sections) and it collapsed. A tragedy nevertheless but not part of the subject matter on this thread.

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