SKOKIE, Ill.-- For all classes of road or highway systems, reinforced and prestressed concrete bridges have a significantly lower rate of structural deficiency than steel bridges, according to a new PCA analysis.
Material Usage and Condition of Existing Bridges in the U.S. reports that72,749 of the U.S. bridges studied were structurally deficient. More than half of the deficient bridges were constructed with structural steel.
The document analyzes data on the condition of the four major bridge construction materials in the United States-reinforced concrete, prestressed concrete, structural steel, and timber. Based on the 2006 National Bridge Inventory data from the Federal Highway Administration and excluding culverts, the report shows that of the 72,749 structurally deficient bridges in the United States, 54.3 percent were constructed with structural steel. Only 23.8 percent were built with reinforced concrete and 6.7 percent with prestressed concrete.
Market share of the four major bridge construction materials in the United States is also analyzed in the report. Not only do concrete bridges have lower rates of deficiencies, but they make up an increasingly larger share of the bridge market.
The combined market share for reinforced and prestressed concrete bridges in the United States is close to 70 percent of bridges built since 1980, based on the number of bridges. This is a significant increase from the period 1950-1959 where the market share was approximately 44 percent based on the number of bridges.
"As our nation's infrastructure needs investment of funds to repair and replace structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridges, concrete's competitive cost and durability are key considerations for building economical and long-lasting bridges," Sue Lane, PCA's program manager for bridges and other transportation structures, said.
For more information on the publication, visit the PCA Bookstore at www.cement.org/bookstore.
About PCABased in Skokie, Ill., the Portland Cement Association represents cement companies in the United States and Canada. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs.
For more information, including a copy of the full report, contact Patti Flesher 847.972.9136