The news isn't improving about our troubled bridges themselves here in Iowa. A new report states that Iowa is still leading the nation in structurally-deficient bridges and the next-worst state isn't even close.
According to KCCI, Iowa has nearly 4,600 of them while Pennsylvania is not exactly in good shape, with roughly 3,300. The problem? You guessed it, money. And infighiting in Washington as politicians decide how to allocate it in an ongoing infrastructure deal that President Joe Biden is still sitting on.
At one point, these folks couldn't even agree on what "infrastructure" meant so don't expect a quick resolution to getting these structurally-deficient bridges fixed.
Between now and 2026 they expect that Iowa will receive $1.15 billion for construction projects, with $251 million going toward repair of DOT-owned bridges. But then, the Iowa DOT doesn't own all the bridges that need repaired. Iowa engineers say several are county-owned. Those are the source of the worst problems.
“There’s only so many financially that we can actually replace,” Geilenfeldt said. “And at the same time, while we’re replacing bridges as they’re aging, more bridges are getting added to the structurally deficient list.”
Material costs are also going up, and, yeah, who knows how long continuing supply chain shortages will be ongoing, which means the materials to do the repairs takes longer to get to the destination.
Looking at what counties have the most structurally-deficient bridges, Jasper and Marshall "lead" the pack with 117 each Linn County "only" has 11.