While just over 10 percent of the city’s bridges are in need of structural repair, according to a federal study released last week, 61 bridges in the state, coming in second to Oklahoma with 71 in the nation, are in desperate need of repair.
These repairs should be the next overhaul for the city before long overdue repairs become a serious threat to drivers.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney called for work to begin on reconstructing the nearly 70-year-old Kosciuszko Bridge between Brooklyn and Queens, however the proposal is still awaiting a request for proposal (RFP).
“Commuters want safety and convenience,” said Malony alongside a number of elected officials at the bridge last month. “No one wants to see what happened in Washington State happen in New York.”
The collapse she was referring to injured several drivers along a 160-foot section of Interstate 5 over the Skagit River 55 miles north of Seattle, a bridge that was nearly 60 years old (built in 1955).
Though no one was injured, the fall comes as a blatant warning sign, like many other collapses in recent years before it, to what can be expected if these repairs aren’t taken seriously.
According to a Reason report titled, “Are Highways Crumbling? State and U.S. Highway Performance Trends, 1989 – 2008,” the number of deficient bridges across the country fell from 37.8 percent to 23.7 percent, however New York has not yet caught up with the trend.
The report cited New York and California as the only two states still worsening in data over last 20 years, with New York rising more than 6.1 percent in poor conditions.
Now is the time. Our bridges must be restored.