December 5, 2021

Indianapolis bridges in poor condition: see the list

Every day, 178 million drivers use structurally deficient bridges in the United States. These roughly 45,000 bridges represent about 7% of the total U.S. bridge inventory, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from the Federal Highway Administration, which includes a searchable database of how many of these bridges are in your county.

Marion County and the entire state of Indiana fall just below this rate, with nearly 6% of its bridge inventory considered to be in “bad” or “structurally deficient” means that their deterioration begins to have an impact on the main structural components of the bridge.

Crawford County has the worst record, with 26 of its 122 bridges in “poor” condition, or 21%, on a scale of “poor”, “fair” and “good”.

Read: Over 45,000 American bridges are “poor”. Should we be worried?

On the other end of the spectrum, LaGrange and Harrison counties do not have any bad bridges.

Nationally, these structurally deficient bridges are on average 68 years old, while bridges in good condition are on average 54 years old and in good condition, 32 years old, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.

Nearly half of the 55 poor bridges in Marion County are under 60, but the oldest bridges skew the average to about the national normal. The youngest deficient bridge is 42 years old; the oldest is 118 years old.

Indianapolis also has many bridges over 100 years old that are considered to be in “good” condition. The oldest of them is 122 years old.

Meanwhile, some of the youngest bridges in Marion County’s worst state rank among the nation’s worst.

The 250 most deficient bridges in the United States, according to the ARTBA ranking, are almost entirely freeways and urban freeways. Five Indiana bridges are among them: the I-65 and I-70 bridges on the streets of downtown Indianapolis.

Three of them – the manifold distribution ramps on Ohio, New York, and Vermont streets, all built in 1974, rank 30th, 31st, and 32nd, respectively.

These bridges are among 50 bridges being rebuilt or rehabilitated as part of the Indiana Department of Transportation’s North Split Interchange Reconstruction Project.

To read and watch: Answers to your questions about the North Split project

The reason why some of the older bridges outperformed the younger ones doesn’t necessarily have to do with how the bridges were built, explained Patrick Conner, research director at the local technical assistance program at the Purdue University.

Some of the old bridges can be classified as historic, so they need to be maintained, not replaced. The younger bridges are often located on urban highways, which experience a lot more wear and tear: more traffic, more traffic like trucks, and more chemicals, like salt for de-icing.

Read: What Biden’s $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill could mean for Indiana if passed

Here is the ranking of bridges in Marion County, according to the Federal Highway Administration’s National Bridge Inventory as of 2020:

Oldest bridges in poor condition

1. Senate Avenue north over Fall Creek: built in 1903

2.30th Street on the White River: built in 1907

3. Garfield Park Road on Pleasant Run: built in 1907 (next to Pleasant Run Parkway)

4. West Roache Street on Central Canal Trail: built in 1911

5. Hobart Avenue on Bean Creek: built in 1916

Younger bridges in poor condition

1. Indian Creek Road on Wildcat Brook: built in 1979

2. East exit ramp of I-70 above Capitol Avenue: built in 1975

3. I-65 North / I-70 East on East 10th Street; I-65 manifold-distributor ramps on Vermont, New York, and Ohio streets; I-65 ramp on Washington Street: Built in 1974

4. I-70 on Meridian Street: built in 1973

5. New Augusta Road on Little Eagle Creek: built in 1972

Oldest bridges in good condition

1. Illinois Street on Fall Creek: built in 1899

2. 12th Street on Pogue’s Run: built in 1903

3. Central avenue over the Fall stream: built in 1905

4. Beecher Street on Pleasant Run: built in 1910

5. Garfield Park Road on Bean Creek: built in 1923

Younger bridges in good condition

1. Ditch Road on I-465: built in 2020

2. Garfield Park Road above Pleasant Run: built in 2019 (south of Raymond Street)

3. Harding Street on Orme Ditch: built in 2019

4. I-65 south on I-465: built in 2017

5. I-65 north on I-465: built in 2017

Age of bridges in poor condition

40-49 years: 9

50-59 years: 15

60-69 years: 13

70-79 years: 2

80-89 years: 4

90-99 years: 5

100-109 years: 3

110-119 years: 4

To view more structurally deficient bridges in Marion County, use USA Today’s data tool here.

Contact Kayla Dwyer, IndyStar Transportation Reporter, at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @ kayla_dwyer17.

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