PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Federal Highway Administration found that 174 of the bridges in Rhode Island were structurally deficient at the end of 2014.
That number is an increase of seven over the 2013 count, and an increase of 18 over the total in 2012.
The agency defines a bridge as structurally deficient if the “deck, superstructure, or substructure culvert is rated in ‘poor’ condition (0 to 4 on the National Bridge Inventory rating scale).”
A bridge can also be deficient if a waterway below frequently overtakes it during a flood, or if its load-carrying capacity is significantly below current design standards.
The longer bridges are left in deficient condition not only makes them increasingly prone to safety issues, but according to the FHA – they becoming increasingly more expensive to fix.