Report puts New Hampshire at 16th among states with deficient bridges

8.6% of state’s spans are listed in poor condition
9 16 Red List Bridge

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, left, recently visited the Neil R. Underwood Bridge that crosses the Hampton River – the number one red-listed bridge in New Hampshire – to discuss how the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would invest in repairing and replacing crumbling infrastructure across the state.

New Hampshire has the 16th-highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges among the 50 states, according to a recent report by 24/7 Wall St.

The website used data from the Federal Highway Administration to determine the condition of bridges in the various states. States were ranked on the share of total bridges classified as being in poor condition as of Dec. 31, 2020

According to the report, 215 of New Hampshire’s 2,514 bridges – or 8.6 percent – are in poor condition, a rate that’s the 16th highest in the nation.

While the state ranks high nationally, it’s in the middle of the pack among the New England states.

The state with by far the lowest percentage of bridges in poor condition is Vermont, where 2.3 percent of the bridges are rated poor, the 45th lowest rate in the country. Connecticut ranks 30th, at 5.7 percent. Massachusetts has the 12th highest percentage of poor bridges, at 9 percent. Maine ranks sixth, with 12.7 percent; Rhode Island ranks third, at 19 percent.

The state with the highest percentage of bridges in poor condition is West Virginia, where over one-fifth – 21.2 percent – are rated in poor shape. The state with the lowest percentage is Nevada, at 1.4 percent.

Of the 618,456 bridges in the U.S., 7.3 percent — 45,031 bridges – were classified in poor condition as of 2020. Another 294,992 bridges, 47.7 percent, were classified as fair and 278,433 bridges, 45.5%, as good, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Repair of deficient bridges is at the center of President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure proposal, which also targets improvements to the nation’s roads, transit hubs, broadband networks and water systems.

The legislation is scheduled for a Sept. 27 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, but there is some doubt about its fate.

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