National Bridge Inventory: District of Columbia

  • Of the 244 bridges in the district, 8, or 3.3 percent, are classified as structurally deficient. This means one of the key elements is in poor or worse condition.
  • This is down from 14 bridges classified as structurally deficient in 2014.
  • 2 of the structurally deficient bridges are on the Interstate Highway System.
  • 4 bridges are posted for load, which may restrict the size and weight of vehicles crossing the structure.
  • The state has identified needed repairs on 123 bridges at an estimated cost of $332.9 million.
  • This compares to 131 bridges that needed work in 2014.

County Year Built Daily Crossings Type of Bridge Location
District of Columbia 1964 81,700 Urban Interstate Anacostia Freeway over Suitland Pkwy S.E.
District of Columbia 1932 60,300 Urban local road Memorial Avenue over Gwmp (NB) & Potomac Rive
District of Columbia 1963 58,000 Urban freeway/expressway Anacostia Freeway over Nicholson Street
District of Columbia 1955 5,000 Urban other principal arterial Ramp from Benning Rd over SB Kenilworth Ave
District of Columbia 1963 2,250 Urban Interstate Ramp 6 over Nicholson Street
District of Columbia 1950 2,000 Urban local road Joyce Road over Luzon Branch
District of Columbia 1900 1,000 Urban local road 31st Street N.W. over C & ;O Canal
District of Columbia 1958 50 Urban local road Edgewater Stable A over Rock 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 0 0 0 0 0 0
Rural arterial 0 0 0 0 0 0
Rural minor arterial 0 0 0 0 0 0
Rural major collector 0 0 0 0 0 0
Rural minor collector 1 270 2,000 0 0 0
Rural local road 0 0 0 0 0 0
Urban Interstate 67 196,910 3,561,270 2 1,856 83,950
Urban freeway/expressway 21 70,987 862,300 1 592 58,000
Urban other principal arterial 51 161,480 1,885,100 1 262 5,000
Urban minor arterial 37 63,005 651,900 0 0 0
Urban collector 20 26,981 202,300 0 0 0
Urban local road 47 49,663 487,741 4 19,876 63,350
Total 244 569,296 7,652,611 8 22,586 210,300
Type of Work Number of Bridges Cost to Repair
(in millions)
Daily Crossings Area of Bridges
(sq. meters)
Bridge replacement 1 $41 14,300 16,525
Widening & rehabilitation 0 $0 0 0
Rehabilitation 19 $79 695,900 48,556
Deck rehabilitation/replacement 10 $15 224,000 11,456
Other structural work 93 $197 2,734,852 150,090
Total 123 $333 3,669,052 226,627

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.

from 46 in 2017

in the nation in % of structurally deficient bridges

1. Rhode Island 23.1%
45. Georgia 3.3%
46. District of Columbia 3.3%
47. Florida 2.6%

from 52 in 2017

in the nation in # of structurally deficient bridges

1. Iowa 4,675
51. Nevada 27
52. District of Columbia 8
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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