A recent study released by the Oregon Department of Transportation cites 1,188 bridges as functionally obsolete, and 447 as structurally deficient.
This does not mean that all of the bridges are unsafe.
The good news is the state’s functionally obsolete bridges are perfectly safe for now, according to ODOT. The bad news, the agency says, is that most communities don’t want to pay for or simply can’t afford to add traffic lanes or build new bridges to alleviate congestion, so in the long run these bridges will require investment by the state.
“We don’t have the money to provide the capacity the bridges need, so you’re going to see more congestion,” said Dave Thompson, a spokesman for ODOT. “A lot of the communities don’t want to pay for bridges with more lanes. That’s the fight over the (Columbia River Crossing), too many lanes. A lot of these functionally obsolete bridges will remain functionally obsolete because the communities don’t want to fix them, so we pay for it every day in waiting.”
Read more at the Daily Journal of Commerce.