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Structurally Deficient Bridges

Structurally Deficient Bridges on the Maryland State Highway System

As of April 1, 2017

NOTE: The structurally deficient rating is an early warning sign for engineers to use to prioritize funding and to initiate rehabilitation or to begin the process to replace the bridge. The rating applies to three main elements of a bridge: 1) the deck (riding surface); 2) the superstructure (main supporting element of the deck, usually beams, girders, trusses, etc.); and 3) the substructure (supports to hold up the superstructure and deck, usually abutments and piers). These elements are rated on a scale from zero (closed to traffic) to nine (relatively new). If any of the three elements is rated as a four or less, the bridge is categorized as structurally deficient by federal standards. This does not mean that the bridge is unsafe. If a bridge becomes unsafe, it will be closed.

The summary below is taken from the annual submission (PDF, 29kb) to FHWA made in April 2017. This submission reports that there are 2567 bridges on the Maryland State Highway System, of which 67 are classified as structurally deficient, or about 3%. The number of structurally deficient bridges has decreased from 143 in 2006 to 67 in 2017.


Summary for 2016
Number of structurally deficient bridges on April 1, 2016 69
Number of structurally deficient bridges addressed in 2016 12
SUBTOTAL 57
Number of bridges which became structurally deficient in 2016 10
Total number of structurally deficient bridges on April 1, 2017 67

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