Analysis: Leading soybean-producing states need bridge repairs
Courtesy Soy Transportation Council
Leading soybean producing states have the largest number and highest percentage of states with structurally deficient bridges, the Soy Transportation Coalition said in an analysis of national bridge statistics released Thursday.
The analysis could provide support for passage of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, which includes repairs of road, bridges and ports as well as bringing high speed Internet service to uncovered parts of rural America.
Iowa tops both the list of the number of bridges in need of repair and in the percentage of bridges in need of repair.
Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Kansas, Nebraska, Michigan, Indiana and South Dakota follow Iowa in the list of the states with the highest number of bridges that need repairs.
South Dakota, Michigan, North Dakota, Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska, Mississippi, Kentucky and Wisconsin follow Iowa in the states with the highest percentage of bridges that need repairs.
“Sometimes when you are at the top, you actually are at the bottom,” Mike Steenhoek, the executive director of the Ankeny, Iowa-based Soy Transportation Council said in an email releasing his analysis.
Steenhoek noted that the American Road and Transportation Builders Association recently released its annual “Bridge Conditions Report” which highlighted that 45,023 bridges in the United States are rated as “structurally deficient” — 7.3% of total bridge inventory.
The data utilized for the ARTBA report was provided by the Federal Highway Administration.
“As one can see, many of the key soybean-producing states unfortunately possess some of the highest number and/or the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges,” Steenhoek said.
“As the Biden administration and Congress continue to debate addressing many of our nation’s most acute infrastructure needs, the condition of our rural bridges — particularly in soybean-producing states — clearly should be on the short-list of priorities. ”
Steenhoek noted that a structurally deficient bridge does not mean that the bridge is unsafe or in danger of collapse. The designation refers to those bridges that have one or more components that require repair.
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