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Transportation Final 10-15-09 -   2.2 - State Bridge Conditions

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Transportation Final 10-15-09
1. Safety
2. Preservation
3. Mobility
4. Environment
5. Stewardship
Current Conditions
6. Economic Recovery

2.2 - State Bridge Conditions

What percentage of WSDOT-owned bridges are in fair or better condition?

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Data Notes
Data Source:

WSDOT Bridge and Structures Office

Measure Definition:

Data as of June, 30, 2009. Good -A range from no problems to some minor deterioration of structural elements; Fair-All primary structural elements are sound but may have deficiencies such as minor section loss, deterioration, cracking, spalling, or scour. Poor -Advanced deficiencies such as section loss, deterioration, cracking, spalling, scour, or seriously affected primary structural components. Bridges rated in poor condition may have posted truck weight restrictions.

Target Rationale:
Link to Agency Strategic Plan: Objective 2 in 2009-15 SP

Notes: (optional)


Condition rating is based on the structural sufficiency standards established in the FHWA Recording and Coding Guide for the Structural Inventory and Appraisal of the Nation’s Bridges, which relates to the evaluation of bridge superstructure, deck, substructure, structural adequacy, and waterway adequacy.

Also Available

Action Plan: Yes
Extended Analysis: Yes

 Summary Analysis

As of FY 2009, 97% of WSDOT Managed Bridges in Good or Fair Condition


  • WSDOT manages over 3,023 vehicular bridge structures over 20 feet in length, 97% of which are currently in fair or better condition. The majority are in good condition (89%), while 8% are in the fair category. 
  • Roughly 3% of bridge structures (2.47%) had a condition rating of poor, a slight improvement compared to FY 2008 (2.99%). No bridge that is open to traffic and rated as “poor” is unsafe for public travel. There is only one WSDOT bridge that is closed to the public, the Murray Morgan Bridge in Tacoma.


  • All bridges in the state are inspected every two years using national standards.
    • There are exceptions: some bridges require annual (or quarterly) inspections due to their condition or design, while FHWA approved WSDOT to inspect newer concrete bridges  in good condition every four years. 

Maintenance and Preservation

  • WSDOT prioritizes bridge preservation and replacement based on risk, condition, location and use, to make investments that extend the service life or, when necessary, replace the bridge. Bridges on key state and freight routes receive higher priority.
  • The cost of not preserving is high: Deloitte Services reports that rehabilitating a  deteriorated  structure can cost six to 20 times more than routine maintenance would have cost.