Report finds 745 structurally deficient bridges in SC

Report finds 745 structurally deficient bridges in SC
SCDOT is in the middle of addressing more than half of the deficient bridges over a 10-year project. (Source: Live 5)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC/WIS) - A new report put together by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association finds there are 745 bridges in South Carolina that are classified as structurally deficient.

The authors of the report compiled the data from the Federal Highway Administration’s 2020 Bridge Inventory. They found 7.9 percent of all the bridges in the state fall under structurally deficient. That percentage ranks South Carolina 20th in the nation for the worse bridge infrastructure, according to their analysis.

CLICK HERE to read the full report.

A structurally deficient bridge, on average, is nearly 68 years old, compared to 32 years for a bridge in good condition and 54 years for a bridge in fair condition.

Some progress appears to have been made from an earlier version of the same report that showed around 826 bridges were structurally deficient in 2016.

Definitions have changed since 2016 so it’s difficult to know exactly how much progress has been made, however the South Carolina Department of Transportation is in the middle of a 10-year plan to beef up roads and bridges with around $3.2 billion dedicated to infrastructure. In the plan, they expect to replace 465 of those bad bridges – so far, they’ve addressed 114.

According to ARTBA, the majority of the top structurally deficient bridges most traveled in the state are in Greenville and Spartanburg counties. Only three are in the Midlands:

County Year Built Daily Crossings Location
Richland 1977 56,800 SC 277 NB over I-77
Lexington 1965 29,000 US 1 over I-20
Newberry 1960 21,800 I-26 WB over Indian Creek

The report states that at the current pace, it would take nearly 40 years to repair the current backlog of structurally deficient bridges nationwide.

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