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Report Shows Pennsylvania Has Second-Most Structurally Deficient Bridges In Country

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - A new report has both good and bad news about the safety of the bridges in Pennsylvania.

While the state is making progress, there's still a lot of work to be done.

According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the state is still second in the nation when it comes to the number of structurally deficient bridges.

This national report concluded that there are more 54,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. More than 4,000 of those bridges are located in Pennsylvania. Several of those bridges are in western Pennsylvania, including the heavily traveled Liberty Bridge.

"The public is not in any imminent danger from the bridges on this list. However, they are bridges that need to be fixed," Dr. Alison Black, of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, said.

Bridge rehabilitation and bridge replacement are the biggest concerns when it comes to bridges in Pennsylvania.

In addition to the Liberty Bridge, at least eight bridges over the Pennsylvania Turnpike and some on Interstate 70 made the list.

The estimated cost of updates to structurally deficient bridges in Pennsylvania's  Districts 14 and 18 is more than $2 billion.

"There are definitely some challenges in Pennsylvania, although I would point out that we've seen some improvements in the state over the last few years as the state DOT and local governments have been trying to address some of the challenges," Dr. Black said.

The authors of the report said people who use the bridges deemed structurally deficient should take the information from this report and advocate for better infrastructure in their communities.

"I think it points to some of the challenges certainly in terms of funding and having the resources to really make a big dent in this issue," Dr. Black said.

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