How are YOUR Bridges?

by Ryan on August 3, 2007

in Anything Else,Politics

With the death toll rising to 6 in the I-35 bridge collapse, ABC News’ “The Blotter” has a list of the 20 worst heavily travelled bridges in the USA.  Half of the bridges are in New Jersey and California!

In my state of New Jersey here are where the big problem bridges are:

  • The Rte 21 Bridge over I-80 with about 518,000 commuters daily:  49% sufficiency
  • The Raritan River Smith Street Bridge with about 205,000 commuters daily:  20% sufficiency
  • The Elizabeth River Bridge over the Garden State Parkway with about 198,000 commuters daily:  24% sufficiency
  • The Port Reading Bridge over Grove Ave with about 192,000 commuters daily:  27% sufficiency

I live pretty close to all of these bridges and have gone over all of them at least once.  I would have no idea that they were in such dire need.  With tolls everywhere and a stiff gasoline tax in New Jersey how can this be?  It has nothing to do with my state’s budget, in my opinion, it’s the inefficiency of the government to get results using the people’s money in the most effective way.  Minnesota had the same problem.  With a $2.1 billion projected budget surplus, money was not a problem with fixing the I-35 bridge, it was a slow and ineffective process that didn’t get money where it was needed to the extent it was needed.  That being said, no one can predict tragedies like this happening the way they did, but precautions can be taken to prevent future problems.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chris August 3, 2007 at 7:03 pm

After thinking for a couple of minutes which bridges they were taking about, I realized this was also in today’s Star-Ledger . The Raritan River bridge Ross’s article is actually referring to is the Driscoll Bridge that takes the Parkway over the Raritan River before exit 127. This bridge has been bad for years and the state is now rehabbing it…the new southbound span opened this year…the Edison Bridge (route 9) was worse a few years ago, but it has since been expanded and re-decked and the Victory Bridge over the Raritan River (route 35), which was a swing drawbridge built in 1910, was just replaced with a twin fixed span.

I’m trying to figure out which Elizabeth River bridge Ross is talking about, but I actually think the article meant the one that takes 1&9 over the Elizabeth River viaduct (the Star-Ledger also mentioned something about that)…if that is the case, I’m not surprised.

I agree with your points, Ryan, but the NJ government also has issues of prioritization that have diverted resources for many years…just take a ride over the Pulaski Skyway, the Highlands Bridge (36 from Highlands to Sea Bright) or the Stickel Bridge (280 into Newark from Harrison) and you’ll see what I mean.


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