National Bridge Inventory: Colorado



  • Of the 8,786 bridges in the state, 473, or 5.4 percent, are classified as structurally deficient. This means one of the key elements is in poor or worse condition.
  • This is up from 470 bridges classified as structurally deficient in 2014.
  • 51 of the structurally deficient bridges are on the Interstate Highway System.
  • 412 bridges are posted for load, which may restrict the size and weight of vehicles crossing the structure.
  • The state has identified needed repairs on 1,353 bridges at an estimated cost of $683.3 million.
  • This compares to 2,227 bridges that needed work in 2014.

County Year Built Daily Crossings Type of Bridge Location
Jefferson 1972 112,000 Urban freeway/expressway US 6 ML over SH 121 Ml
Jefferson 1967 90,000 Urban Interstate I 70 ML over Harlan Street
Denver 1964 64,000 Urban Interstate I 70 ML WBnd over SH 35 Ml
Denver 1964 64,000 Urban Interstate I 70 ML EBnd over SH 35 Ml
Denver 1964 64,000 Urban Interstate I 70 ML WBnd over UP RR
Denver 1960 64,000 Urban Interstate I 70 ML EBnd over UP RR
Denver 1962 58,000 Urban freeway/expressway SH 35 ML over Sand Creek
Jefferson 1967 56,000 Urban Interstate I 70 ML EBnd over SH 391 Ml
Jefferson 1967 56,000 Urban Interstate I 70 ML WBnd over SH 391 Ml
Arapahoe 1955 55,000 Urban other principal arterial US 285 ML over Little Dry Creek
Jefferson 1968 53,000 Urban Interstate I 70 ML WBnd over West 32nd Ave
Denver 1942 53,000 Urban other principal arterial East 40th Avenue over BNSF RR
Jefferson 1968 53,000 Urban Interstate I 70 ML WBnd over West 20th Ave
Jefferson 1968 53,000 Urban Interstate I 70 ML EBnd over West 32nd Ave
Adams 1969 45,500 Urban Interstate I 270 ML WBnd over SH 265 Ml,UP RR,BNSF RR
Adams 1969 45,500 Urban Interstate I 270 ML WBnd over South Platte River
Adams 1969 45,500 Urban Interstate I 270 ML EBnd over South Platte River
Adams 1987 43,000 Urban Interstate I 76 ML EBnd over Clear Creek
El Paso 1995 40,000 Urban freeway/expressway W Frontage Road over Sand Creek
Clear Creek 1965 40,000 Rural Interstate I 70 ML over Clear Creek
Adams 1940 40,000 Urban other principal arterial SH 6 ML over Sand Creek
Denver 1968 39,500 Urban Interstate I 270 ML EBnd over I 70 Ml
Adams 1987 33,500 Urban Interstate I 76 ML WBnd over Clear Creek
Jefferson 1969 33,000 Urban Interstate I 70 ML WBnd over US 40 Ml
Douglas 1964 29,500 Rural Interstate I 25 ML NBnd over County Road
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 558 410,776 5,778,074 28 30,291 282,088
Rural arterial 633 337,786 3,458,024 21 7,813 73,986
Rural minor arterial 673 303,500 1,876,854 50 18,309 123,921
Rural major collector 710 271,720 1,394,339 53 13,467 50,095
Rural minor collector 1,082 314,335 1,276,624 63 13,958 53,885
Rural local road 2,293 456,409 1,342,756 164 30,372 75,181
Urban Interstate 559 969,713 24,523,782 23 33,053 1,010,136
Urban freeway/expressway 405 521,439 11,749,852 11 14,086 349,463
Urban other principal arterial 551 667,131 11,083,706 20 22,316 384,970
Urban minor arterial 437 362,938 4,390,317 17 16,874 105,116
Urban collector 353 245,573 2,478,768 11 4,463 35,870
Urban local road 532 163,303 1,996,974 12 2,342 8,561
Total 8,786 5,024,622 71,350,070 473 207,344 2,553,272
Type of Work Number of Bridges Cost to Repair
(in millions)
Daily Crossings Area of Bridges
(sq. meters)
Bridge replacement 326 $300 2,115,314 193,892
Widening & rehabilitation 256 $100 3,058,252 164,439
Rehabilitation 374 $110 2,093,459 199,901
Deck rehabilitation/replacement 53 $29 535,499 43,793
Other structural work 344 $144 3,585,582 229,800
Total 1,353 $683 11,388,106 831,826

About the data:

Data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Bridge Inventory (NBI), released March 15, 2019. Note that specific conditions on bridges may have changed as a result of recent work or updated inspections.

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 2017 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 cost estimate is supplied by the bridge owner or the bridge is classified as structurally deficient.

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.

34
from 38 in 2017

in the nation in % of structurally deficient bridges

1. Rhode Island 23.1%
33. Ohio 5.6%
34. Colorado 5.4%
35. Kansas 5.2%

30
from 31 in 2017

in the nation in # of structurally deficient bridges

1. Iowa 4,675
29. Massachusetts 481
30. Colorado 473
31. North Dakota 469
Full State Ranking

  • Source: Bridge data is from the 2018 National Bridge Inventory ASCII files, released by the Federal Highway Administration on March 14, 2019. Note that specific conditions on bridges may have changed as a result of recent work. ARTBA is a non-partisan federation whose primary goal is to aggressively grow and protect transportation infrastructure investment to meet the public and business demand for safe and efficient travel.
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