National Bridge Inventory: District of Columbia

  • Of the 246 bridges in the district, 7, or 2.8 percent, are classified as structurally deficient. This means one of the key elements is in poor or worse condition.
  • This is down from 8 bridges classified as structurally deficient in 2017.
  • The deck area of structurally deficient bridges accounts for 6.1 percent of total deck area on all structures.
  • 2 of the structurally deficient bridges are on the Interstate Highway System. A total of 14.3 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.
  • 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 126 bridges at an estimated cost of $866.0 million.
  • This compares to 120 bridges that needed work in 2017.

County Year Built Daily Crossings Type of Bridge Location
District of Columbia 1964 103,600 Urban Interstate T. Roosevelt Brid over Pot River & Potomac
District of Columbia 1964 81,700 Urban Interstate Anacostia Freeway over Suitland Pkwy S.E.
District of Columbia 1964 25,000 Urban freeway/expressway NB S.Capitol St over Suitland Pkwy
District of Columbia 1907 14,300 Urban other principal arterial H Street over Washington Terminal Yard
District of Columbia 1955 5,000 Urban other principal arterial Ramp from Benning Rd over SB Kenilworth Ave
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
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 68 198,455 3,619,270 2 17,645 185,300
Urban freeway/expressway 20 70,226 806,500 1 224 25,000
Urban other principal arterial 50 156,162 1,867,100 2 16,788 19,300
Urban minor arterial 38 68,291 666,970 0 0 0
Urban collector 22 29,133 222,300 0 0 0
Urban local road 47 49,675 487,741 2 318 3,000
Total 246 572,212 7,671,881 7 34,975 232,600
Type of Work Number of Bridges Cost to Repair
(in millions)
Daily Crossings Area of Bridges
(sq. meters)
Bridge replacement 1 $69 14,300 16,526
Widening & rehabilitation 0 $0 0 0
Rehabilitation 17 $145 693,600 48,036
Deck rehabilitation/replacement 10 $45 224,000 10,905
Other structural work 98 $607 2,775,988 150,820
Total 126 $866 3,707,888 226,286

About the data:

Data is from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Bridge Inventory (NBI), downloaded on January 3, 2022. 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 January 3, 2022.

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 2020 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.

Compared to 46 in 2020

in the nation in % of structurally deficient bridges

1. West Virginia 20.4%
44. Florida 3.6%
45. District of Columbia 2.9%
46. Vermont 2.4%

Compared to 52 in 2020

in the nation in # of structurally deficient bridges

1. Iowa 4,504
51. Delaware 17
52. District of Columbia 7

Compared to 38 in 2020

in the nation in % of structurally deficient bridge deck area

1. Rhode Island 19.5%
20. Washington 6.4%
21. District of Columbia 6.1%
22. California 5.9%
Full State Ranking


  • Source: Data is from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Bridge Inventory (NBI), downloaded on January 3, 2022. Note that specific conditions on bridges may have changed as a result of recent work or updated inspections.

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