Mapping the Country's Bridge Maintenance Crisis

A new, interactive feature by The Washington Post endeavors to bring the point about the nation's crumbling infrastructure closer to home.

1 minute read

February 22, 2017, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Benicia Bridge

The Benicia Bridge, where it arrives in Solano County from Contra Costa County in Northern California. | DS.SF / Shutterstock

The Washington Post has published a large, interactive feature on the state of the nation's bridges, mapping the locations of the "structurally deficient" and "functionally obsolete" bridges around the United States. The interactive map zooms to the county level, automatically if you allow the site access to your location.

At this writing, for instance, I'm in Contra Costa County, California, where the interactive feature reports that there are 46 structurally deficient bridges, 89 functionally obsolete bridges, and 458 bridges in good condition. Along side the custom report on the county, the feature offers a geo-tagged satellite view of all the deficient and obsolete bridges around the region.

Denise Lu and Dan Keting supplement the interactive features with an article introducing the key terms and data that drive the interactive map. The article concludes by focusing on a sample of counties with high rates of structurally deficient bridges, namely Suffolk County, Massachusetts; Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania; and Nemaha County, Nebraska.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 in The Washington Post

Large blank mall building with only two cars in large parking lot.

Pennsylvania Mall Conversion Bill Passes House

If passed, the bill would promote the adaptive reuse of defunct commercial buildings.

April 18, 2024 - Central Penn Business Journal

Street scene in Greenwich Village, New York City with people walking through busy intersection and new WTC tower in background.

Planning for Accessibility: Proximity is More Important than Mobility

Accessibility-based planning minimizes the distance that people must travel to reach desired services and activities. Measured this way, increased density can provide more total benefits than increased speeds.

April 14, 2024 - Todd Litman

Wood-frame two-story rowhouses under construction.

Fair Housing Cannot Take a Back Seat to ‘Build, Baby, Build’

If we overlook fair housing principles in the plan to build US housing back better, we risk ending up right back where we started.

April 11, 2024 - James Jennings

"No 710" lawn sign on green lawn.

LA Metro Board Approves New 710 Freeway Plan

The newest plan for the 710 corridor claims it will not displace any residents.

April 22 - Streetsblog LA

Close-up of row of electric cars plugged into chargers at outdoor station.

Austin’s Proposed EV Charging Rules Regulate Station Locations, Size

City planners say the new rules would ensure an efficient distribution of charging infrastructure across the city and prevent an overconcentration in residential areas.

April 22 - Austin Monitor

Green hills with orange California poppies in bloom in foreground in Chino Hills State Park, California.

Making California State Parks More Climate-Resilient

A recently released report offers recommendations for keeping state parks healthy and robust, including acquiring additional land for conservation and recreation.

April 22 - Spectrum News 1

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.