National Bridge Inventory: Massachusetts



  • Of the 5,229 bridges in the state, 472, or 9.0 percent, are classified as structurally deficient. This means one of the key elements is in poor or worse condition.
  • This is up from 468 bridges classified as structurally deficient in 2016.
  • The deck area of structurally deficient bridges accounts for 12.0 percent of total deck area on all structures.
  • 67 of the structurally deficient bridges are on the Interstate Highway System. A total of 54.4 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.
  • 643 bridges are posted for load, which may restrict the size and weight of vehicles crossing the structure.
  • The state has identified needed repairs on 4,843 bridges at an estimated cost of $15.4 billion.
  • This compares to 4,702 bridges that needed work in 2016.

County Year Built Daily Crossings Type of Bridge Location
Norfolk 1958 193,356 Urban Interstate I 93 NB/US1SB over St 24 NB
Middlesex 1950 169,500 Urban Interstate I 95 /St128 over RR MBTA/BMRR
Suffolk 1956 137,500 Urban freeway/expressway US 1 NE Xway over Hwy Orange & Carter St
Essex 1959 129,908 Urban Interstate I 93 over Water Merrimack River
Essex 1963 128,520 Urban other principal arterial US 1 Newbrprt Tpk over I 95 /St128
Plymouth 1954 112,606 Urban freeway/expressway St 24 over Hwy Torrey St
Essex 1962 106,800 Urban Interstate I 495 NB & On-Ramp over RR MBTA/BMRR
Plymouth 1954 103,900 Urban freeway/expressway St 24 over Hwy W Chestnut St
Essex 1940 100,805 Urban freeway/expressway St128 over Water Waters River
Middlesex 1905 96,206 Urban other principal arterial St 9 Boylston St over Tr Green Line D
Essex 1962 95,100 Urban Interstate I 495 SB over St 28 SB/N Main St
Essex 1962 95,100 Urban Interstate I 495 NB over St 28 SB/N Main St
Essex 1961 93,469 Urban Interstate I 495 NB over Comb BMRR & Little Riv
Essex 1961 93,469 Urban Interstate I 495 SB over Comb BMRR & Little Riv
Essex 1962 90,200 Urban Interstate I 495 Upper Level over I 495 Lower Level
Middlesex 1965 86,300 Urban freeway/expressway St 2 EB over Hwy Pleasant St
Essex 1934 85,600 Urban other principal arterial St 1 A/Lynnway over Water Saugus River
Suffolk 1956 84,600 Urban freeway/expressway US 1 NE Xway over Hwy Webster Ave
Suffolk 1957 83,902 Urban freeway/expressway US 1 over Hwy Spruce St
Suffolk 1958 83,500 Urban freeway/expressway US 1 NE Xway over St 60 EB/Squire Rd
Middlesex 1957 80,100 Urban Interstate I 90 Ramps A & B over Water Charles River
Suffolk 1927 78,900 Urban other principal arterial Hwy Morrssey Blv over Water Dorchester Bay
Middlesex 1967 78,000 Urban freeway/expressway St 2 over Hwy Lake St
Middlesex 1949 77,200 Urban Interstate I 95 NB/St128 NB over St 38 EB/Main St
Hampden 1970 77,100 Urban minor arterial I 291 Ramp P over I 291 /US20
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 88 53,993 2,551,763 2 1,369 19,644
Rural arterial 53 50,183 705,014 2 12,140 52,205
Rural minor arterial 114 43,972 589,527 12 3,378 68,927
Rural major collector 219 55,968 536,305 24 5,529 54,289
Rural minor collector 121 27,889 167,364 9 1,301 10,343
Rural local road 438 60,811 203,810 35 2,893 13,884
Urban Interstate 924 1,464,554 52,521,859 65 122,043 3,510,969
Urban freeway/expressway 459 469,963 18,215,800 54 99,535 2,068,253
Urban other principal arterial 724 814,557 18,320,532 95 128,291 2,590,782
Urban minor arterial 964 617,760 14,039,057 96 72,631 1,339,298
Urban collector 526 257,295 3,615,951 39 29,887 289,955
Urban local road 599 223,928 1,944,188 39 15,021 91,644
Total 5,229 4,140,875 113,411,170 472 494,018 10,110,193
Type of Work Number of Bridges Cost to Repair
(in millions)
Daily Crossings Area of Bridges
(sq. meters)
Bridge replacement 455 $1,960 4,937,769 332,072
Widening & rehabilitation 1,692 $3,731 29,257,665 929,157
Rehabilitation 2,399 $8,460 59,415,020 2,108,625
Deck rehabilitation/replacement 30 $174 1,219,785 43,330
Other structural work 267 $1,026 10,132,653 256,135
Total 4,843 $15,351 105,000,000 3,669,318

About the data:

Data is from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Bridge Inventory (NBI), downloaded on March 11, 2021. 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 March 11, 2021.

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 2019 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.

13
Compared to 16 in 2019

in the nation in % of structurally deficient bridges

1. West Virginia 21.2%
12. New York 9.7%
13. Massachusetts 9.0%
14. Missouri 8.9%

29
Compared to 29 in 2019

in the nation in # of structurally deficient bridges

1. Iowa 4,571
28. Colorado 481
29. Massachusetts 472
30. North Dakota 444

4
Compared to 4 in 2019

in the nation in % of structurally deficient bridge deck area

1. Rhode Island 21.0%
3. Illinois 12.0%
4. Massachusetts 12.0%
5. Iowa 10.0%
Full State Ranking

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  • Source: Data is from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Bridge Inventory (NBI), downloaded on March 11, 2021. Note that specific conditions on bridges may have changed as a result of recent work or updated inspections.

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