The Nevada Department of Transportation’s dedicated bridge inspection and rehabilitation program has helped Nevada bridges to be named the nation’s best for the fifth straight year.
The American Road and Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) recently-released analysis of 2017 U.S. Department of Transportation bridge inventory data (www.artbabridgereport.org) shows only 1.6 percent of Nevada’s nearly 2,000 public bridges being structurally deficient. Compared to the 8.9 percent national average, it’s the nation’s best, tied with Texas, and the same top ranking Nevada also received in the past four years. The term structurally deficient bridge is used to describe bridges in need of rehabilitation or potential replacement. Structurally deficient bridges aren’t necessarily unsafe or dangerous. Rather, these bridges become a priority for corrective measures, and restrictions may be placed on the weight of vehicles using them.
The Nevada Department of Transportation inspects the majority of bridges, including city and county-maintained structures, every two years. Bridges with more extensive deterioration are inspected more often, while select newer bridges are inspected every four years. Following large-scale flooding across northwestern Nevada in 2017, NDOT commissioned additional underwater inspections of impacted bridges, finding no imminent safety concerns.
“Keeping everyone safe and connected on Nevada’s roads is our primary focus,” NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon said. “We utilize federal and state transportation funding to make important enhancements to keep Nevada bridges the nation’s best, and, most importantly, to keep Nevada motorists safe on our bridges.”
The Nevada Department of Transportation dedicated approximately $17 million in fiscal years 2015 and 2016 to bridge preservation. Nearly 440 of Nevada’s state-owned bridges are more than 50 years of age, an age when rehabilitation is often necessary to keep the structure in fair condition.