SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) – One out of every 12 bridges in Illinois is likely to be deteriorating to some degree, a new report found.
According to “The Fix We’re In For: The State of Illinois’ Bridges,” 8.5 percent of bridges statewide are rated “structurally deficient. More than 50 percent of all bridges will be past their useful life in 2030. According to the report, in Illinois, the average age of bridges is 38 years. Regardless of the amount of wear and tear, most bridges are designed to last just 50 years. Illinois has almost 7,000 bridges past the 50-year mark, most in rural areas.
The Transportation for America Illinois coalition is calling on Congress to approve more federal dollars for bridge replacement across the state and the nation. Nationally, some 70,000 bridges are classified as “structurally deficient” and it would cost roughly $70.9 billion to bring those bridges up to a good state of repair.
As for where the money will come from, one suggestion from the coalition is an increase in the federal motor fuel tax, which hasn’t been raised in decades. They also say that Congress must pass laws that stop states from using federal bridge repair dollars for other purposes.
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