Our view: Why we have to fix our bridges, Erie Times - News

May 10, 2012

"Here's a problem that spans geographical and political boundaries: Pennsylvania's bridges are in bad shape, and we need to fix them or risk derailing our economic recovery and our nation's future.

As Valerie Myers reported on April 30, Pennsylvania leads the nation in structurally deficient bridges. According to a 2011 study, "The Fix We're In For: The State of Our Nation's Bridges," 26.5 percent of Pennsylvania's 22,300 bridges are in the "deficient" category.

Transportation for America, an advocacy group, did the study. The group supports a comprehensive federal surface transportation bill to cover highways, rail and public transportation, as well as bicycle and pedestrian networks. "This system will be essential for helping us respond to the myriad challenges facing our nation today, including the economy, energy, public health, the environment, an aging population, and equal access and fair treatment of all communities and transportation users," the group says in the executive summary of its report, "The Route to Reform."

Not everyone may support that position, but officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation agree that there isn't enough money to address the immediate need to replace or repair Pennsylvania's aging bridges." For the rest of the Erie Times - News editorial, please click here.