Golden Gate Bridge, connecting San Francisco and Marin County, CaliforniaEnlarge Photo
After Alaska, the states with the highest percentage of roads in poor or mediocre shape were Rhode Island, New Jersey, Vermont, and California.
About 71,000—or 12 percent—of all bridges are "structurally deficient," with the situation the worst in Pennsylvania and Oklahoma. There are more than 185,000 highway bridges in the U.S. that are 50 years old (typically their intended service life) or more, and that number is expected to soar to more than 500,000 by 2050. The average age of U.S. bridges is 43.
Disrepair Costs Lives, Too
Poorly maintained roads cause accidents. The American Society of Civil Engineers has estimated that roadway conditions are a factor in about a third of traffic fatalities; so poor roadways are likely to have had an impact in 11,000 fatalities last year alone.
To see just what a mess our roads and bridges are in, and how hopeless government officials are making it, you'll want to read the full report. Just don't read it while you're walking down the street…or when you're standing on a bridge.
Top Metropolitan Areas (500,000 or more) with the Highest Additional Operating Costs Due to Rough Roads
1. Los Angeles, CA - $746
2. San Jose, CA - $732
3. San Francisco-Oakland, CA - $705
4. Tulsa, OK - $703
5. Honolulu, HI - $688
[Wired Autopia blog; U.S. PIRG]