Iowa has the third most structurally deficient bridges in the country according to the latest data from the non-profit group Transportation for America. This coalition of 500 different groups is working with Congress to pass a new transportation bill. This study shows the status of the nation’s bridges and Iowa is ranked third worst in the nation behind Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.
Nevada has the lowest number of deficient bridges. The study shows Washington County ranked 49th in the state having 49 or 22% of its 222 bridges listed at structurally deficient.
The worst county in the state is Adams County in western Iowa having nearly half of their bridges deemed as deficient while the best county is Dubuque County with only 6.7%.
Washington County Assistant Engineer Jacob Thorius says the definition of a structurally deficient bridge is that the bridge is still safe to drive on, but it cannot safely hold a larger truck load which causes the Secondary Roads Department to lower the weight limit on the bridge. He says the cause for the deficiency is the age of the bridge and the lack of government funding to replace it.
Thorius says they will close a bridge to keep the public safe if they cannot replace it. To see how all counties fared in this survey, click here.