ECA has again joined with the Rebuild SoCal Partnership on an important initiative – this time for the ambitious “Fix Every Bridge” campaign.
California is home to nearly 2,000 structurally deficient bridges. These bridges play a vital role in our communities. They connect people to jobs, schools, and family members; they ensure access to hospitals, fire trucks, and other emergency vehicles; they also play a critical role in our economy – ensuring efficient and reliable goods movement.
Jon Switalski, the partnership’s Executive Director, highlights for us that in Southern California, some of our largest and most traveled bridges along corridors are in need of major repair and rehabilitation. Among the arteries are the I-5 in San Diego, Highway 101, I-10, I-110, and I-710 LAriver crossing in Los Angeles, and CA-60 in Riverside. In fact, five of the top ten most traveled structurally deficient bridges in the country are in Southern California, with a combined average daily travel of 1.25 million vehicles.
Approximately 50% of bridges in the state have exceeded their design life and the backlog of recommended maintenance, repair and replacement work continues to grow.
California is home to the second largest percentage of functionally obsolete bridges, or bridges with outdated designs that frequently contribute to congestion chokepoints and ranks among the top states for bridges in “poor” condition by bridge deck area.
At a time of unprecedented budget surplus, we can’t wait for earthquakes or tragedy. The time to act is now.
Repairing bridges will:
- Create good-paying union construction jobs
- Keep communities connected
- Reduce commute time and road construction
- And increase safety and reduce accidents
- Cut response time for first responders
- Improve ability to withstand natural disasters
We encourage everyone to contact their elected officials. Use the link https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials to contact your local representatives and make your voice heard.
By Dave Sorem, P.E. ECA Government Affairs Chairman email: [email protected]