Pittsburgh's Troubled Bridges: What to Do About Them—

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 1, Pg. 46-50

Document Type: Feature article


The Pittsburgh area is troubled by old bridges that are badly deteriorated. The metropolitan area has more bridges — 1,700 — than any other. And some 66 of them have weight limits posted. Causes of the problem — including deicing salt, inadequate maintenance budgets, and reduced buying power of highway departments — are listed. Some possible approaches to the problem are discussed, including closing those bridges that can be done without, and reconstruction in such a manner as to require maintenance less frequently. But the main problem is dollars; not enough are being put into bridge maintenance and replacement. Some possible ways to get more bridge dollars are discussed, including permitting states and localities to shift more highway construction dollar allocations from the federal government and states to bridge repair. Also desirable are increased state and/or federal gasoline taxes; these have been raised little in 20 years, so they buy only one-third of the construction that they did when enacted.

Subject Headings: Bridges | Pittsburgh | Pennsylvania | United States

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