With 25,000 state owned bridges, Pennsylvania has the third-largest number of bridges in the nation. The average age of bridges on the state system is over 50 years old.
PennDOT is committed to keeping non-structurally deficient bridges in good repair through bridge preservation activities, including painting, deck joint repair or replacement, rigid deck overlays, etc. In the long run, preservation saves money by extending bridge service life, thus deferring the need for major rehabilitation of bridges. In the past five years, PennDOT has invested approximately $370 million to preserve over 1,050 bridges.
Being rated structurally deficient does not mean that a bridge is unsafe; rather it means that it has deterioration to one or more of its major components. Although deterioration is present, a structurally deficient bridge is safe. Safety is our number one priority and if a bridge is found to be unsafe, it's closed. If a bridge can only carry certain loads, it's restricted.