Pennsylvania Roads, Bridges, and Mass Transit Get Poor Grades
Pennsylvania has the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges in the country, according to the Federal Highway Administration. This is the best of the bad news, however, as the state's bridges get a better grade than its roads and mass transit systems.
A report card released by the American Society of Civil Engineers gave PA bridges a C grade. Twenty-seven percent of them are structurally deficient, compared to 12 percent nationwide. The report said that there are $11 billion in "immediately needed" repairs and that the damage is due to winter weather and age, with the average bridge being 50 years old.
The state's mass transit systems received a D-minus. Economic troubles are at the heart of the problem, says the Governor's Transportation Funding and Reform Commission. Decreases in revenue and increases in fuel and healthcare costs resulted in service reductions and fare increases.
Finally, roads received a D-minus as well. Thirty-eight percent of Pennsylvania's roads are in fair or poor condition. Truck traffic on the state's interstate highways is twice the national average, and Pennsylvania ranks fifth in the country for miles of state-owned highways. Due to a lack of funding, only five percent of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's budget is funneled into new projects, with the rest going towards the maintenance of existing roads.