Better Bridges 2012 Bridge Inventory
Better Roads Staff
However, Adam Matteo, assistant bridge engineer with the Virginia Department of Transportation, says the new bill actually “hurts” his agency. “There are not ‘BR’(bridge replacement)funds, and therefore no requirement to fund bridges,” Matteo says.
Nick J. Altobelli, P.E., director of structures state bridge engineer with the Mississippi Department of Transportation, thinks MAP-21 is less restrictive on applying funds, but there are “too many needs pulling from the same source.” Gregory R. Perfetti, P.E., state structures management engineer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, says with MAP-21, “it appears that there will be increased flexibility in [the] use of available funds.” David Fish, P.E., managing engineer with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, says it may help “by drawing attention to SD bridges.”
Steve Anderson with the Nebraska Department of Roads Bridge Division, points out that while the legislation “improves the stability of funds,” the new requirements “will again syphon off money needed for construction. We always have more need than funds.”
David E. Powelson, P.E., chief, existing bridge section, New Hampshire Department of Transportation, says that MAP-21 “provides more consistent funding that continuing resolutions, allowing better long-term planning.” But, he says, it’s important to note that the nation still needs a major overhaul when it comes to “sufficient revenue and funding to support full infrastructure reconstruction and investment.” What makes this even more difficult, Powelson, says is that “the traveling public does not fully understanding nor choose to fund the work required to address bridge deficiencies.”
Harvey L. Coffman, P.E., bridge preservation engineer with the Washington Department of Transportation Bridge Preservation Office, simply says MAP-21 will make “no difference.” He also notes that “more resources, [a] priority to maintain [and] preserve infrastructure” are needed in the system of planning and maintaining bridge as in the United States at the federal, state and local level.”
Eric J. Christie, assistant state maintenance engineer – bridges, Alabama Department of Transportation, agrees with Coffman, noting that MAP-21 “will not make a difference” with his agency’s ability to repair bridges. John D. Clark, state bridge maintenance and repair engineer with the Florida Department of Transportation, says “No, No” when commenting on if MAP-21 will make any difference with his agency’s ability to repair bridges.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation is still up in the air as to whether the short-term highway bill will have any impact on the agency. “We are not sure at this time,” Jeff C. Vigil, P.E., state bridge management engineer for the New Mexico DOT Bridge Maintenance Unit, said when he answered the Better Roads 2012 Bridge Inventory survey in late September/early October. “It will depend on how funding is prioritized.” Vigil also acknowledges that insufficient funding will restrict important work in the coming year to “a major extent.” He also notes that “larger and more consistent funding levels” are needed” for the system of planning and maintain bridges in the United States at the federal, state and local levels.
State DOT Wish Lists
“If you could change any aspect of your department to improve your bridges, what would it be?”
Georgia: “Georgia’s on-system bridges basically are in good condition, but aging. Long-term sustainable funding that would allow a more robust and expansive rehabilitation and replacement program would be welcome.” — Ben Rabun, P.E., state bridge maintenance engineer, Georgia Department of Transportation
Kansas: “Bridge management for long-term maintenance – realizing the value of preservation actions.”
— Calvin Reed, P.E., Kansas Department of Transportation, bridge management engineer
Kentucky: “Allocate more resources dedicated to preventive maintenance on bridges. Design and construct maintenance-friendly bridges. It costs less to keep up with the needed maintenance than it does to wait untl the bridge becomes deficient and then spend funds.” — David Steele, branch manager, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Division of Maintenance
Minnesota: “A sustainable funding source for bridge preservation, rehabilitation and replacement programs.” — Thomas Martin, bridge data management, Minnesota Department of Transportation Bridge Office M S 610
Missouri: “More funding. The lack of funding is a problem for all aspects of our transportation system within our state.” — David Koenig, P.E., bridge structural service engineer, Missouri Department of Transportation
New Jersey: “Need to expand on [a] preventive maintenance program. Many bridge issues [are] due to deck joints drainage systems [and] salt intrusion.” — Eli D. Lambert, P.E., New Jersey Department of Transportation
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