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Status of the Nation's Highways, Bridges, and Transit:
2002 Conditions and Performance Report

Executive Summary
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Index
Introduction
Highlights
Executive Summary
Part I: Description of Current System
Ch1: The Role of Highways and Transit
Ch2: System and Use Characteristics
Ch3: System Conditions
Ch4: Operational Performance
Ch5: Safety Performance
Ch6: Finance

Part II: Investment Performance Analyses
Ch7: Capital Investment Requirements
Ch8: Comparison of Spending and Investment Requirements
Ch9: Impacts of Investment
Ch10: Sensitivity Analysis

Part III: Bridges
Ch11: Federal Bridge Program Status of the Nation's Bridges

Part IV: Special Topics
Ch12: National Security
Ch13: Highway Transportation in Society
Ch14: The Importance of Public Transportation
Ch15: Macroeconomic Benefits of Highway Investment
Ch16: Pricing
Ch17: Transportation Asset Management
Ch18: Travel Model Improvement Program
Ch19: Air Quality
Ch20: Federal Safety Initiatives
Ch21: Operations Strategies
Ch22: Freight

Part V: Supplemental Analyses of System Components
Ch23: Interstate System
Ch24: National Highway System
Ch25: NHS Freight Connectors
Ch26: Highway-Rail Grade Crossings
Ch27: Transit Systems on Federal Lands

Appendices
Appendix A: Changes in Highway Investment Requirements Methodology
Appendix B: Bridge Investment/Performance Methodology
Appendix C: Transit Investment Condition and Investment Requirements Methodology
List of Contacts

Ch 11: Federal Bridge Program/Status of the Nation's Bridges

The Nation's Bridges
States, local agencies, and the Federal Highway Administration conduct inspections of their bridges and culverts on public roads. The National Bridge Inventory (NBI) is the official repository for information collected through the inspection program, reflecting the condition of the Nations' bridges. The data is also used as the basis for the distribution of Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program (HBRRP) funding among the states as well as to establish eligibility for funding for individual bridges.

Nation's Bridges

FED STATE LOCAL OTHER TOTAL
Rural Bridges
Interstate
30
27,417
14
42
27,503
Other Arterials
565
71,301
2,501
156
74,523
Collectors
1,306
68,559
73,113
293
143,271
Local
6,856
27,534
174,973
761
210,124
Subtotal Rural
8,757
194,811
250,601
1,252
455,421
Urban Bridges
Interstate
1
27,058
368
354
27,781
Other Arterials
50
44,435
17,539
575
62,599
Collectors
22
5,000
9,690
230
14,942
Local
110
4,675
20,440
434
25,659
Subtotal Urban
183
81,168
48,037
1,593
130,981
Rural & Urban
Interstate
31
54,475
382
396
55,284
Other Arterials
615
115,736
20,040
731
137,122
Collectors
1,328
73,559
82,803
523
158,213
Local
6,966
32,209
195,413
1195
235,783
Total
8,940
275,979
298,638
2,845
586,402


Federal Bridge Program
The National Bridge Program was established in 1971 to address safety concerns on the nation's bridges. A key element of the program is the National Bridge Inspection Program (NBIP). The inspection program is based on the National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) adopted by the FHWA and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Federal funding is provided through the HBRRP.

Inspection standards extend to procedures, frequency, personnel qualifications, reports, and inventories. The purpose of the inspection program is to locate and evaluate existing bridge deficiencies to assure their owners will act to keep them safe for the traveling public. Through the HBRRP, Congress has authorized more than $56 billion in federal funds for bridge replacement and rehabilitation projects.

Approximately 30 percent of the structures on the Nation's highway system are either structurally or functionally deficient. This total has been decreasing over the past few years.

A structurally deficient bridge is not necessarily subject to immediate collapse, but has been identified as being restricted to lighter vehicles or is in immediate need of rehabilitation to remain open to traffic. A functionally obsolete bridge generally is one that no longer meets current geometric and structural standards for the highway on which it is located.

Aging Bridges
The Nation's bridges are deteriorating with age. At the same time, the amount of traffic on them is increasing putting a greater strain on the existing system. Older structures will require increasing future maintenance to remain functional or will need to be replaced on a systematic basis to maintain the integrity of the Nation's highway system.

Year of Construction
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