National Bridge Inventory: Massachusetts



  • Of the 5,215 bridges in the state, 481, or 9.2 percent, are classified as structurally deficient. This means one of the key elements is in poor or worse condition.
  • This is up from 446 bridges classified as structurally deficient in 2014.
  • 61 of the structurally deficient bridges are on the Interstate Highway System.
  • 612 bridges are posted for load, which may restrict the size and weight of vehicles crossing the structure.
  • The state has identified needed repairs on 4,768 bridges at an estimated cost of $9.5 billion.
  • This compares to 4,670 bridges that needed work in 2014.

County Year Built Daily Crossings Type of Bridge Location
Norfolk 1958 201,000 Urban Interstate I 93 NB/US1SB over St 24 NB
Norfolk 1978 172,758 Urban freeway/expressway St 3 SB over Hwy Ramp C (Q Adams)
Middlesex 1950 172,000 Urban freeway/expressway I 95 /St128 over RR MBTA/BMRR
Middlesex 1950 169,500 Urban Interstate I 95 /St128 over RR MBTA/BMRR
Essex 1961 129,383 Urban Interstate I 495 SB over Hwy Haggetts Pond Rd
Essex 1963 122,264 Urban other principal arterial US 1 Newbrprt Tpk over I 95 /St128
Middlesex 1961 122,000 Urban Interstate I 495 SB over St133 Andover St
Middlesex 1961 122,000 Urban Interstate I 495 NB over St133 Andover St
Norfolk 1978 116,896 Urban freeway/expressway St 3 NB over Hwy Ramp C (Q Adams)
Middlesex 1954 116,500 Urban other principal arterial St 16 Rev Bch Pkwy over Water Malden River
Hampden 1962 114,200 Urban Interstate I 91 over Hwy Union St
Essex 1962 106,800 Urban Interstate I 495 NB & On-Ramp over RR MBTA/BMRR
Essex 1940 100,805 Urban freeway/expressway St128 over Water Waters River
Plymouth 1954 98,800 Urban freeway/expressway St 24 over Hwy Torrey St
Essex 1961 98,000 Urban Interstate I 495 SB over Comb BMRR & Little Riv
Plymouth 1954 96,400 Urban freeway/expressway St 24 over Hwy W Chestnut St
Middlesex 1905 96,206 Urban other principal arterial St 9 Boylston St over Tr Green Line D
Essex 1963 96,200 Urban Interstate I 495 NB over St110 /St113/Merrimack
Middlesex 1957 92,710 Urban Interstate I 90 EB over Water Mdc Res 3
Middlesex 1962 92,700 Urban freeway/expressway I 95 NB/St128 NB over Hwy Middlesex Tpk
Essex 1961 90,000 Urban Interstate I 495 NB over Comb BMRR & Little Riv
Essex 1962 88,322 Urban Interstate I 495 Upper Level over I 495 Lower Level
Suffolk 1965 83,793 Urban Interstate I 90 EB over RR MBTA
Suffolk 1965 81,500 Urban other principal arterial US 20 Comm Av,MBTA over Comb I 90 & MBTA/CSX
Middlesex 1957 80,100 Urban Interstate I 90 Ramps A & B over Water Charles River
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 91 55,241 2,713,042 1 794 16,184
Rural arterial 66 59,291 1,017,902 2 12,140 52,205
Rural minor arterial 124 55,454 743,849 17 5,571 124,041
Rural major collector 218 62,770 599,443 24 8,100 59,643
Rural minor collector 125 28,742 164,979 11 1,450 10,725
Rural local road 449 64,476 238,967 42 4,095 20,509
Urban Interstate 907 1,415,840 52,064,095 60 111,312 3,489,327
Urban freeway/expressway 456 464,451 18,212,376 56 96,264 2,461,488
Urban other principal arterial 702 796,080 17,464,261 90 126,919 2,775,235
Urban minor arterial 965 613,645 14,190,133 89 69,507 1,287,927
Urban collector 523 281,147 3,687,571 45 32,155 311,684
Urban local road 589 222,724 2,224,260 44 15,859 114,144
Total 5,215 4,119,863 113,320,878 481 484,164 10,723,112
Type of Work Number of Bridges Cost to Repair
(in millions)
Daily Crossings Area of Bridges
(sq. meters)
Bridge replacement 465 $1,530 5,238,366 321,533
Widening & rehabilitation 1,628 $1,871 28,885,076 904,161
Rehabilitation 2,390 $5,336 58,950,758 2,229,288
Deck rehabilitation/replacement 32 $137 1,398,863 44,636
Other structural work 253 $654 8,729,991 233,406
Total 4,768 $9,528 103,200,000 3,733,025

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.

16
from 17 in 2017

in the nation in % of structurally deficient bridges

1. Rhode Island 23.1%
15. Mississippi 9.4%
16. Massachusetts 9.2%
17. New Hampshire 9.0%

29
from 30 in 2017

in the nation in # of structurally deficient bridges

1. Iowa 4,675
28. Georgia 494
29. Massachusetts 481
30. Colorado 473
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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