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A Map of Every Bridge in the United States

Mapping the nation's 600,000 bridges reveals a remarkably fine-grained map of…the nation.
February 3, 2015, 1pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Luciano Mortula

"In his 2016 budget, President Obama proposed a one-time tax on foreign earnings in order to fund a $478 billion program to upgrade the nation's roads, bridges, railroads and more. As policymakers debate the merits of the proposal in coming months, it helps to visualize what exactly we're talking about when we talk about the nation's infrastructure," writes Christopher Ingraham.

To create a resource to aid in that visualization, Wonkblog used data from the Federal Highway Administration's National Bridge Inventory and mapped every bridge in the United States longer than 20 feet.

Ingraham adds more language helpful in setting a political context for the mapping exercise: "The map illustrates the ubiquity of America's [sic] bridges -- it's basically impossible to go for a drive in any densely-populated area and not cross one. But each of those bridges -- all 600,000 of them -- need to be maintained. This maintenance costs money. And some states and localities do a better job of it than others."

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 in The Washington Post - Wonkblog
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