The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) needs an additional $180 million per year in order to keep up with maintenance and repairs of the state’s bridges, according to an annual study released Sept. 18.
According to ODOT’s 2015 Bridge Condition Report, over half of the state’s 2,727 bridges were built prior to 1970, and 57 percent will reach the end of their planned design lifetime by 2020. Annually, 0.5 percent of the state’s bridges—approximately 14 structures—are deteriorating into structural deficiency, with the rate expected to increase to 2.5 percent per year—or 70 bridges—by 2020 without additional funding. By 2050, the number of deficient bridges within Oregon could increase to 70 percent. The report states that 27 bridges need to be replaced per year, but the department only has the ability to replace three. At current funding levels, ODOT expects the department will have the ability to repair or replace only 300 of the 900 state highway bridges that will need maintenance over the next two decades.
Further, ODOT predicts that by 2035 deteriorating state bridges could result in the loss of as much as 100,000 jobs within Oregon, as well as cost the state $94 billion in lost production.
ODOT’s annual report comes only a couple of months after a legislative measure to increase transportation funding in the state failed to advance.
Read the report.