Press Releases

New Report Identifies New York City Bridges Most in Need of Repair or Replacement


Eight percent of bridges in the New York City area are rated in poor/structurally deficient condition, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research nonprofit. This includes bridges 20 feet or longer and encompasses Bronx, Kings, New York, Richmond and Queens Counties. A bridge is rated poor/structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components.

The TRIP report, Preserving New York City Bridges: The Condition and Funding Needs of New York City Aging Bridge System,” finds that in the New York City area, 113 of the 1,452 bridges are rated in poor/structurally deficient condition –eight percent. Bridges in the New York City area that are poor/structurally deficient carry 4,382,332 vehicles per day.  Poor/structurally deficient bridges may be posted for lower weight limits or closed if their condition warrants such action. Deteriorated bridges can have a significant impact on daily life. Restrictions on vehicle weight may cause many vehicles – especially emergency vehicles, commercial trucks, school buses and farm equipment – to use alternate routes to avoid weight-restricted bridges. Redirected trips also lengthen travel time, waste fuel and reduce the efficiency of the local economy.

Sixty-four percent (930 of 1,452) of locally and state-maintained bridges in the New York City area have been rated in fair condition.  A fair rating indicates that a bridge’s structural elements are sound, but minor deterioration has occurred to the bridge’s deck, substructure or superstructure. The remaining 28 percent (409 of 1,452) of the area’s bridges are rated in good condition.

Statewide, ten percent (1,757 of 17,521) of bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient, while 53 percent (9,364 of 17,521) are rated in fair condition and the remaining 37 percent (6,400 of 17,521) are in good condition.

“Maintaining safe and stable infrastructure is critically important to all New Yorkers. Every day, thousands of people travel through our state on what are often poor and structurally deficient roads and bridges,” said Senator Tim Kennedy, chairman of the New York State Senate Committee on Transportation. “Now more than ever we need to ensure that we’re dedicating resources to local infrastructure that is desperately in need of repair and maintenance. Taxpayer dollars must be put to work to improve our local community. I will continue to work with local stakeholders and continue to fight for additional funding to improve our roads and bridges.”

The chart below details the 10 most heavily traveled poor/structurally deficient bridges in the New York City area. A list of the 25 most heavily traveled poor/structurally deficient bridges in the region can be found in the report. The report’s Appendix also includes the ratings for each bridge’s deck, substructure and superstructure. The chart also indicates whether the bridge is open to traffic, posted, which restricts use to lighter vehicles, or closed to traffic.

The following 10 poor/structurally deficient bridges in the New York City area (carrying a minimum of 500 vehicles per day) have the lowest average rating for deck, substructure and superstructure. Each major component of a bridge is rated on a scale of zero to nine, with a score of four or below indicating poor condition. If a bridge receives a rating of four or below for its deck, substructure or superstructure, it is rated as poor/structurally deficient. A list of the 25 bridges in the New York City area with the lowest average rating for major bridge components is included in the report.

“While New York City and New York State have tackled some of the lowest rated bridges, replacing the Belt Parkway Bridges and the Kosciuszko Bridge over Newtown Creek, the TRIP report highlights that more still needs to be done to bring the city’s bridges into a state of good repair,” said Robert Wessels, acting executive director of the General Contractors Association of New York.

“New York’s bridges are a critical component of the state’s transportation system, providing connections for personal mobility, economic growth and quality of life,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without increased and reliable transportation funding, numerous projects to improve and preserve aging bridges in the New York City area and statewide will not move forward, hampering New York’s ability to efficiently and safety move people and goods.”