National Bridge Inventory: Alabama



  • Of the 16,155 bridges in the state, 620, or 3.8 percent, are classified as structurally deficient. This means one of the key elements is in poor or worse condition.
  • This is down from 720 bridges classified as structurally deficient in 2016.
  • The deck area of structurally deficient bridges accounts for 1.7 percent of total deck area on all structures.
  • 16 of the structurally deficient bridges are on the Interstate Highway System. A total of 93.9 percent of the structurally deficient bridges are not on the National Highway System, which includes the Interstate and other key roads linking major airports, ports, rail and truck terminals.
  • 2,585 bridges are posted for load, which may restrict the size and weight of vehicles crossing the structure.
  • The state has identified needed repairs on 16,065 bridges at an estimated cost of $9.5 billion.
  • This compares to 16,015 bridges that needed work in 2016.

County Year Built Daily Crossings Type of Bridge Location
Jefferson 1968 41,990 Urban Interstate I 59/20 over Arron Aronov Drive
Jefferson 1968 41,990 Urban Interstate I 59/20 over Aaron Aronov Drive
Jefferson 1981 40,005 Urban Interstate I459 over Cahaba River
Mobile 1964 34,245 Urban minor arterial Mcgregor Ave over Eslava Creek
Lee 1996 32,040 Urban freeway/expressway US 280 over First Avenue
Tuscaloosa 1956 31,380 Urban other principal arterial US 82 over Hargrove Mill Creek
Lee 1959 23,680 Urban Interstate I-85 over SR 51
Lee 1959 23,680 Urban Interstate I-85 over Long St
Lee 1959 23,680 Urban Interstate I-85 over SR 51
Lee 1959 23,680 Urban Interstate I-85 over Long St
Walker 1962 23,120 Urban minor arterial Al 5 over US 78
Montgomery 1965 16,060 Rural Interstate I65 NBL over Pintlala Creek
Lowndes 1966 14,920 Rural Interstate I65 SBL over Branch
Autauga 1957 14,890 Rural arterial US 82 over Autauga Creek
Shelby 1924 14,635 Urban other principal arterial Al - 3 (US 31) over Peavine Ck * Acl RR
Jefferson 1915 14,000 Urban local road 22nd Street over Morris Ave * RR
Jefferson 1915 13,000 Urban local road 21st Street over Morris Ave * RR
Jefferson 1910 13,000 Urban local road 22nd St over Rotary Trail Park
Mobile 1965 12,875 Urban minor arterial US 90 WB over Tensaw/Spanish River
Jefferson 1945 12,820 Urban other principal arterial Al - 150 over Lil Shades Ck
Elmore 1941 12,810 Rural minor arterial Al 14 over Tallapoosa River
Conecuh 1959 12,690 Rural Interstate I-65 NB over Murder Creek
Conecuh 1959 12,690 Rural Interstate I-65 SB over Murder Creek
Conecuh 1959 12,690 Rural Interstate I-65 NBL over Murder Creek Relief
Mobile 1946 11,607 Urban collector Whistler St over Eight Mile Creek
Type of Bridge Number of Bridges Area of All Bridges
(sq. meters)
Daily Crossings on All Bridges Number of Structurally Deficient Bridges Area of Structurally Deficient Bridges
(sq. meters)
Daily Crossings on Structurally Deficient Bridges
Rural Interstate 673 1,185,129 13,714,879 8 8,280 93,100
Rural arterial 1,148 1,127,539 8,899,326 14 11,510 89,035
Rural minor arterial 1,520 1,010,149 5,076,219 24 13,999 75,328
Rural major collector 3,106 1,296,081 4,954,729 66 30,358 80,893
Rural minor collector 2,292 642,778 1,348,087 95 11,206 16,992
Rural local road 4,459 911,747 1,789,202 331 46,230 66,069
Urban Interstate 572 1,904,993 21,457,707 8 7,948 226,145
Urban freeway/expressway 89 191,739 1,918,276 1 869 32,040
Urban other principal arterial 555 771,568 10,762,333 6 4,769 82,650
Urban minor arterial 392 310,478 4,426,586 13 10,063 102,680
Urban collector 313 200,417 1,719,962 9 2,044 40,743
Urban local road 1,036 378,009 2,916,020 45 19,090 74,553
Total 16,155 9,930,628 78,983,326 620 166,365 980,228
Type of Work Number of Bridges Cost to Repair
(in millions)
Daily Crossings Area of Bridges
(sq. meters)
Bridge replacement 4,569 $2,356 14,790,905 1,815,766
Widening & rehabilitation 566 $279 4,149,605 314,412
Rehabilitation 3,004 $2,653 26,796,380 2,974,094
Deck rehabilitation/replacement 9 $4 86,326 4,022
Other structural work 7,917 $4,228 33,020,332 4,784,959
Total 16,065 $9,519 78,843,548 9,893,253

About the data:

Data is from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Bridge Inventory (NBI), downloaded on March 11, 2021. Note that specific conditions on bridges may have changed as a result of recent work or updated inspections. Cost estimates were downloaded by ARTBA on March 11, 2021.

Effective January 1, 2018, FHWA changed the definition of structurally deficient as part of the final rule on highway and bridge performance measures, published May 20, 2017 pursuant to the 2012 federal aid highway bill Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). Two measures that were previously used to classify bridges as structurally deficient are no longer used. This includes bridges where the overall structural evaluation was rated in poor or worse condition, or where the adequacy of waterway openings was insufficient.

The new definition limits the classification to bridges where one of the key structural elements—the deck, superstructure, substructure or culverts, are rated in poor or worse condition. During inspection, the conditions of a variety of bridge elements are rated on a scale of 0 (failed condition) to 9 (excellent condition). A rating of 4 is considered “poor” condition.

Cost estimates have been derived by ARTBA, based on 2019 average bridge replacement costs for structures on and off the National Highway System, published by FHWA. Bridge rehabilitation costs are estimated to be 68 percent of replacement costs. A bridge is considered to need repair if the structure has identified repairs as part of the NBI, a repair cost estimate is supplied by the bridge owner or the bridge is classified as structurally deficient. Please note that for a few states, the number of bridges needing to be repaired can vary significantly from year to year, and reflects the data entered by the state.

Bridges are classified by FHWA into types based on the functional classification of the roadway on the bridge. Interstates comprise routes officially designated by the Secretary of Transportation. Other principal arterials serve major centers of urban areas or provide mobility through rural areas. Freeways and expressways have directional lanes generally separated by a physical barrier, and access/egress points generally limited to on- and off-ramps. Minor arterials serve smaller areas and are used for trips of moderate length. Collectors funnel traffic from local roads to the arterial network; major collectors have higher speed limits and traffic volumes and are longer in length and spaced at greater intervals, while minor collectors are shorter and provide service to smaller communities. Local roads do not carry through traffic and are intended for short distance travel.

43
Compared to 43 in 2019

in the nation in % of structurally deficient bridges

1. West Virginia 21.2%
42. Virginia 4.1%
43. Alabama 3.8%
44. District of Columbia 3.3%

25
Compared to 23 in 2019

in the nation in # of structurally deficient bridges

1. Iowa 4,571
24. Minnesota 661
25. Alabama 620
26. Virginia 577

46
Compared to 45 in 2019

in the nation in % of structurally deficient bridge deck area

1. Rhode Island 21.0%
45. Hawaii 3.0%
46. Alabama 2.0%
47. Georgia 2.0%
Full State Ranking

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  • Source: Data is from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Bridge Inventory (NBI), downloaded on March 11, 2021. Note that specific conditions on bridges may have changed as a result of recent work or updated inspections.

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