Adhesives Magazine

Bridges are Safe But Need Work: Report

July 28, 2008

According to a new report, America's 600,000 bridges are safe, yet one out of every four U.S. bridges needs to be modernized or repaired despite the best efforts of state and local departments of transportation. Making all of the necessary improvements today would cost at least $140 billion.

 


As we approach the August 1 anniversary of the Minneapolis I-35W Bridge tragedy, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) today released Bridging the Gap:

Restoring and Rebuilding the Nation's Bridges, a new report that outlines the critical challenges ahead.

The report finds that age, cost and traffic congestion are among the top challenges for repairs. The average bridge in this country today is 43; almost 20 percent of these "Baby Boomer" bridges are over 50 years old. As age and traffic increase, so does the need for repair.


"This generation of ‘baby-boomer’ bridges is in need of significant repair or replacement. New technology can help us build bridges that are stronger and longer-lasting," said Pete K. Rahn, AASHTO president and director of the Missouri Department of Transportation. "Yet we are not seeing the kind of national attention or investment we need to address these issues."

 

We as a public need to do something about these failing bridges and bring attention to the fact that our safety is being threatened. What’s more, the adhesives industry needs to stand up and make itself known, and let the designers, engineers, and architects who influence the selection of adhesives and sealant see that their products are a viable option for these repairs. We in the industry needs to build awareness of our products and the myriad applications they can be used for, and let people know that adhesives can be the solution. The Adhesive and Sealant Council, Inc.’s Growing the Industry efforts have succeeded at this, and I urge all adhesive and sealant manufacturers to join in these efforts.