Most Traveled Bridges in Ohio in Desperately Poor Condition
Bridges are key to providing connectivity to safely cross waterways, railways, roadways, and other obstacles. Many of these bridges that people cross every day, as one report shows, are structurally deficient. In Ohio, out of its 26,960 bridges, 1,251, or 4.6 percent, are classified as structurally deficient, according to a report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). To be structurally deficient, a key element of the bridge is either in poor or worse condition.
First, this article needs to define what “structurally deficient” means. Then it will review the current state of bridges in Ohio. Lastly, we list a chart of the top 10 bridges in Ohio that are the most high-traffic bridges and are also considered structurally deficient.
What Does Structurally Deficient Mean?
A bridge is structurally deficient when one of the key structural elements is rated in poor or worse condition, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Those elements are the deck, superstructure, substructure, and culverts. Inspectors rate conditions of bridge elements on a scale of 0 (failed condition) to 9 (excellent condition). The “Poor” condition has a rating of 4.
The FHWA supports the safety, stewardship, and oversight of bridges, tunnels, and other structures across the U.S. Under the Federal-Aid Highway Program, it distributes approximately $7 billion to assist transportation agencies.
State of Ohio’s Bridges
According to the FHWA’s 2023 National Bridge Inventory Data, Ohio identified 3,183 bridges in need of repairs. Many of these are in desperately poor condition.
In November 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law. IIJA is a long-term investment in the country’s infrastructure. From 2022 to 2026, it will provide a $550 billion investment in infrastructure.
Ohio will receive a total of $521.5 million in bridge formula funds. The state has access to $208.6 million and has committed $24.6 million toward 37 projects, as of June 2023.
Repairs in Ohio
In June 2023, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced that the ODOT will dedicate nearly $28 million to support local projects to repair, replace, or demolish 24 aging bridges in Ohio.
The state will pay for the replacement of 16 bridges, repair of four bridges, and demolition of four bridges through the Municipal Bridge Program. The ODOT said 20 bridges are considered safe for traffic, but improvements are necessary to ensure they do not become dangerous. The other four bridges that will be demolished haven’t been used for years.
“Providing this funding is another example of how the state can work to support our communities to ensure that local transportation infrastructure is safe for those traveling on our roads and bridges,” Gov. DeWine said.
Most Traveled, Structurally Deficient Bridges in Ohio
Below is the list of 10 bridges in Ohio that are the most traveled, and structurally deficient in the state. These bridges have more than 59,000 crossings daily. This makes it even more important to ensure they pose no danger to motorists.
|County||Year Built||Daily Crossings||Type of Bridge||Location|
|Cuyahoga||1971||142,337||Urban Interstate||IR 480 over Cr 8 (Lee Rd)|
|Cuyahoga||1971||106,617||Urban Interstate||IR 90 over Rocky River Valley|
|Hamilton||1960||91,244||Urban Interstate||IR 75 over Tributary Mill Creek|
|Cuyahoga||1980||77,220||Urban Interstate||Ramp SW from I-71 over IR 480 Mainline|
|Cuyahoga||1980||77,220||Urban Interstate||Ramp Es from I-480 over IR 480 Mainline|
|Hamilton||1965||67,075||Urban Interstate||NB IR 75 Over Mill Cr; Benson St;Nsrr;S|
|Franklin||1975||61,022||Urban Interstate||I-70 over IR 70W over Scioto River|
|Cuyahoga||1962||59,893||Urban Interstate||IR 77 over E 22 St|
|Cuyahoga||1962||59,893||Urban Interstate||IR 77 over US-422 WB (Cuy-422-0125)|
|Cuyahoga||1962||59,893||Urban Interstate||IR 77 over E 14th St|
Interstate 480 Over County Road 8 (Lee Road)
This bridge tops the list at the most daily crossing with 142,337. It is located in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
The deck is in poor condition, with advanced section loss, deterioration, and spalling or scour. The ODOT recently announced it will replace the bridge deck on I-480 over Lee Road. Construction is expected to be completed in spring 2025, according to the ODOT.
Interstate 90 Over Rocky River Valley
This bridge, located in Cuyahoga County, was also built in 1971. Daily crossings stand at 106,617.
In 2020, the ODOT announced a $3 million repair project for the bridge. The proposed work includes steel repairs, patching, and repairs to the driving surface, along with the replacement of fencing along the bridge. It is currently in development.