National Bridge Inventory: Delaware

  • The state has identified needed repairs on 315 bridges.
  • This compares to 329 bridges that needed work in 2019.
  • Over the life of the IIJA, Delaware will receive a total of $225.0 million in bridge formula funds, which will help make needed repairs.
  • Delaware currently has access to $90.0 million of that total, and has committed $34.3 million towards 22 projects as of June 2023.
  • Of the 874 bridges in the state, 11, or 1.3 percent, are classified as structurally deficient. This means one of the key elements is in poor or worse condition.
  • This is down from 28 bridges classified as structurally deficient in 2019.
  • The deck area of structurally deficient bridges accounts for 2.5 percent of total deck area on all structures.

County Year Built Daily Crossings Type of Bridge Location
New Castle 1920 10,738 Rural minor arterial Dupont Pkw/US13 SB over Blackbird Creek
Kent 1941 10,208 Rural arterial US Route 13 over C & D Canal
Kent 1965 7,685 Urban collector Lebanon Rd/SR10 WB over St. Jones River
Sussex 1957 7,555 Rural major collector SR 54 over Assawoman Bay
New Castle 1929 4,415 Urban local road James St. over Christina River
New Castle 1973 663 Rural major collector SR 9 over Appoquinimink River
New Castle 1918 439 Rural local road Guyencourt Rd. over Reading RR
Sussex 1931 224 Rural local road Cods Road over Slaughter Creek
Sussex 1973 194 Rural local road Craigs Mill Rd over Craigs Pond Spillway
Kent 1977 99 Urban local road Maple Ave over Mispillion River
New Castle 1915 99 Rural local road Private/Park Road over Red Clay 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 102 246,111 1,959,555 1 21,040 10,208
Rural minor arterial 20 11,688 203,305 1 159 10,738
Rural major collector 90 45,964 335,996 2 2,288 8,218
Rural minor collector 31 9,349 66,382 0 0 0
Rural local road 164 24,563 158,571 4 305 956
Urban Interstate 90 335,507 3,626,617 0 0 0
Urban freeway/expressway 30 36,209 600,674 0 0 0
Urban other principal arterial 123 178,193 2,872,000 0 0 0
Urban minor arterial 77 78,141 823,879 0 0 0
Urban collector 81 37,441 518,958 1 969 7,685
Urban local road 66 23,837 113,445 2 1,053 4,514
Total 874 1,027,002 11,279,382 11 25,814 42,319
Type of Work Number of Bridges Cost to Repair
(in millions)
Daily Crossings Area of Bridges
(sq. meters)
Bridge replacement 129 $504 2,384,878 118,013
Widening & rehabilitation 20 $57 294,215 19,557
Rehabilitation 135 $932 1,707,398 329,282
Deck rehabilitation/replacement 0 $0 0 0
Other structural work 31 $222 643,888 77,187
Total 315 $1,715 5,030,379 544,040

About the data:

Data and cost estimates are from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Bridge Inventory (NBI), downloaded on July 3, 2023. 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 2022 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 49 in 2022

in the nation in % of structurally deficient bridges

1. West Virginia 20.0%
48. Georgia 2.0%
49. Delaware 1.0%
50. Texas 1.0%

Compared to 51 in 2022

in the nation in # of structurally deficient bridges

1. Iowa 4,558
50. Nevada 25
51. Delaware 11

Compared to 44 in 2022

in the nation in % of structurally deficient bridge deck area

1. Rhode Island 15.0%
44. Maryland 3.0%
45. Delaware 3.0%
46. Florida 2.0%
Full State Ranking


  • Source: Data is from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Bridge Inventory (NBI), downloaded on July 3, 2023. Note that specific conditions on bridges may have changed as a result of recent work or updated inspections.

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