With more than over 25,000 state of Pennsylvania owned bridges, Pennsylvania has the third-largest number of bridges in the nation. The average age of the bridges in the state is on the average over 50 years old.
PennDOT is committed to maintaining and improving bridges through bridge preservation activities, including painting, deck joint repair or replacement, rigid deck overlays, etc. In the long run, preservation saves money by extending bridge service life, thus deferring the need for major rehabilitation of bridges.
PennDOT is responsible for managing the safety inspection of more over 30,000 bridges owned by the state, municipalities, or other agencies. Penndot’s interactive statewide map details the condition — good, fair, or poor — of each of these bridges.
The Pennsylvania State Council representing the Central Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Sections of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) present the 2018 Report Card for Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure. Civil engineers hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public.
To help serve the public, the Pennsylvania Council has created this report card to help educate Pennsylvanians of the status of the state’s infrastructure so that the public, in conjunction with elected officials, can make educated decisions on how to prioritize funding to meet current and future needs of the Commonwealth.
This report card also makes recommendations to infrastructure owners and civil engineers on how improve our state’s infrastructure.
In the past four years since the 2014 Report Card for Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure, legislative support for infrastructure, public agency planning and a thriving economy have had tangible improvements in the status of several pieces of infrastructure in Pennsylvania. Examples
of these improvements since 2014 include but are not limited to:
• The advancement of 2,600 transportation projects into construction as a result of Act 89 funding improving Roads
to a D+;
• The construction of two new levee systems with 12 new systems/rehabilitations under design as a result of increased funding moving levees to a solid C; and
• The implementation of a program to replace 558 bridges in poor condition through the use of a public-private partnership which showed great effort towards addressing the state’s numerous bridges in poor condition.
These improvements demonstrate the impact that increased funding, the right leadership, and strategic planning can….
I have to stop right there. Easy answer to fixing the infrastructure and one that is true. Spend enough money and you can fix just about anything. But is that really the answer. I would dare make the assumption that if we updated our inspection protocols and utilized modern technology to better assess our infrastructure than the service life of many of these structures can be extended almost indefinitely.
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The 2018 Report Card for Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure gives the Commonwealth an overall grade of C-, which reflects that Pennsylvania
has some of the oldest infrastructure in the country, and improvements continue to be needed.
Unfortunately the 2018 overall grade of a C- reflects the same letter grade as the 2014 Report Card for Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure, indicating that while some aspects of our state’s infrastructure have improved, others have degraded. Much of Pennsylvania’s infrastructure continues to serve well beyond
its intended lifespan and has deteriorated. All Pennsylvanians—citizens, agencies, and policy makers—need to decide if they value the
personal and economic benefits of a robust infrastructure network.
If the answer is “yes”, they need to make infrastructure improvement a top priority. Solid infrastructure keeps Pennsylvanians safe and prosperous.
For more information on the 2018 Report Card for Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure visit www.pareportcard.org, www.infrastructurereportcard.org/
Could the result of Pennsylvania’s continued infrastructure degradation be the result of inspection protocols that are over 50 years old. How many things do you know about that have not changed in 50 years and in some cases much more. Not many. Why then are the inspections that manage our infrastructure in effect archaic, outdated, subjective in nature and assuring us of continued degradation of our infrastructure. Is it possible that this is intentional. The billions of dollars spent in taxpayer money to inspect our infrastructure, close lanes,bring in heavy equipment and inspect our infrastructure with manual subjective inspections
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