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A recent inventory by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association took a look at structurally deficient bridges in California. Bad news is … there are a lot.

The ARTBA, a trade group that represents road construction workers, said in its 2022 report that 5.8% of California’s bridges can be categorized as “structurally deficient.” That’s 1,493 bridges according to the group.

And these aren’t bridges along dusty roads or in rural parts of the state. Many of the structurally deficient bridges get hundreds of thousands of crossing every day, according to the ARTBA.

The most-traveled structurally deficient bridges are along interstates and major freeways, traversed by commuters, road-trippers and truckers day in and day out. According to the report, the most-traveled bridges in bad condition in California are:

  1. Highway 101 over Kester Avenue (Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles)
  2. Interstate 5 over Marietta Street (Boyle Heights, Los Angeles)
  3. State Route 134 over Pacific Avenue (Glendale, Los Angeles County)
  4. State Route 60 over Wilcox Avenue (Monterey Park/Montebello, Los Angeles County)
  5. State Route 57 over the BNSF Railway/Amtrak/Metrolink tracks (Fullerton, Orange County)
  6. Interstate 710 over the Los Angeles River (South Gate, Los Angeles County)
  7. Interstate 80 over Suisun Creek (Fairfield, Solano County)
  8. Interstate 80 over Dan Wilson Creek (half a mile from the No. 7 in Fairfield, Solano County)
  9. Interstate 580 over Piedmont/Broadway (Oakland, Alameda County)
  10. Interstate 805 over Telegraph Canyon Drain (Chula Vista, San Diego County)

A structurally deficient bridge is a bridge where “one of the key elements is in poor or worse condition,” as defined by the ARTBA’s report.

Believe it or not, California’s bridges are actually faring far better than they were just five years ago, when the ARTBA identified 4,719 bridges in need of repair.

California lands itself in the middle of the pack nationally when it comes to the percentage of bridges that are structurally deficient. The Golden State ranks at No. 27.

The worst in the nation is Rhode Island, where 19.5% of bridges are structurally deficient.