Deficient Bridges: Replacement and Rehabilitation Progress
The conditional issues that manifest in our bridge infrastructure are well known. Since the year 2000 Oklahoma has consistently ranked as one of the worst states on the national list of structurally deficient bridges. At the most recent peak as reported in December 2004, 1,168 bridges or a full 17% of all highway system bridges were classified as structurally deficient. By comparison, that same year Texas ranked near the best in the nation with less than 2% of their more than 32,000 bridges classified as structurally deficient.
ODOT has placed a priority and focused available resources on this chronic problem in earnest since 2003. With the passage of House Bill 1078 in 2005, which initiated the Rebuilding Oklahoma Access and Driver Safety (ROADS) fund, a more diverse funding pool has been brought to bear.
The above graphic shows the culmination of a bold and visionary plan unveiled by Governor Fallin that will virtually eliminate Oklahoma's bridge structural deficiencies. Governor Fallin challenged the Department to prepare an aggressive investment strategy to alleviate the condition of these bridges within an eight year window and then worked with the Legislature to ensure a funding solution was in place.
As a result, our structurally deficient bridge numbers are expected to drop to near zero by the end of the decade. There were 706 structurally deficient highway bridges at the end of 2010. We are down to 321 at the end of 2015 and on track to have 1% or fewer of all highway bridges rated structurally deficient by the end of the decade.