National Bridge Inventory: Tennessee



  • Of the 20,177 bridges in the state, 871, or 4.3 percent, are classified as structurally deficient. This means one of the key elements is in poor or worse condition.
  • This is down from 1,002 bridges classified as structurally deficient in 2014.
  • 38 of the structurally deficient bridges are on the Interstate Highway System.
  • 1,606 bridges are posted for load, which may restrict the size and weight of vehicles crossing the structure.
  • The state has identified needed repairs on 7,343 bridges at an estimated cost of $1.9 billion.
  • This compares to 7,387 bridges that needed work in 2014.

County Year Built Daily Crossings Type of Bridge Location
Davidson 1958 175,270 Urban Interstate I24 over Mill Creek
Hamilton 1960 134,740 Urban Interstate I24 EBL & WBL over Branch
Davidson 1961 131,900 Urban Interstate I24 350182D over I24 / CSX RR & Oldham St
Davidson 1961 113,710 Urban Interstate I24 over I24 / Spring Street
Hamilton 1965 112,410 Urban Interstate I24 over Germantown Rd (FAU 3577)
Davidson 1962 106,860 Urban Interstate I40 over I40 / Westboro Road
Davidson 1967 102,580 Urban Interstate I65 343316H over Cumberland Rv & Cowan St
Williamson 1963 97,660 Rural Interstate I65 over Branch
Hamilton 1958 75,960 Urban Interstate I124 SBL over W. 4th St (SR 389)
Hamilton 1958 73,550 Urban Interstate I124 SBL over W. 9th St. (FAU 3551)
Hamilton 1958 73,550 Urban Interstate I124 NBL over I-124-Rl / W. 9th St.
Davidson 1972 67,260 Urban Interstate I24 over I24 Rl / Old Hickory Blv
Davidson 1972 67,260 Urban Interstate I24 over I24 Ll / Old Hickory Blv
Shelby 1968 58,540 Urban freeway/expressway Fau 4032 over Waring Rd
Cheatham 1960 53,990 Rural Interstate I40 over Harpeth River
Cheatham 1960 53,990 Rural Interstate I40 over Harpeth River
Davidson 1969 53,740 Urban freeway/expressway Fau 6 over SR 6 Rl / Douglas Avenue
Wilson 1964 52,200 Urban Interstate I40 348852T over CSX Railroad
Wilson 1964 52,200 Urban Interstate I40 348852T over CSX Railroad
Madison 1961 48,720 Urban Interstate I40 over SR 5
Loudon 1977 47,740 Rural Interstate I75 over Tennessee River
Marion 1965 44,940 Rural Interstate I24 over Sequatchie River
Roane 1960 44,540 Rural Interstate I40 Rt Ln over Clinch River & Nfa A774
Sevier 1968 42,460 Urban other principal arterial Fap 66 over French Broad River
Sevier 1987 42,460 Urban other principal arterial Fap 66 over French Broad 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 823 944,247 29,073,939 21 38,730 837,080
Rural arterial 1,110 1,020,786 10,812,445 17 29,927 136,040
Rural minor arterial 1,598 999,402 7,807,542 55 41,810 276,050
Rural major collector 1,943 732,535 3,600,398 64 29,656 110,390
Rural minor collector 3,203 809,903 2,619,016 151 33,086 95,330
Rural local road 6,888 1,084,232 1,959,595 388 47,680 97,615
Urban Interstate 787 1,431,777 59,220,680 17 30,956 1,446,670
Urban freeway/expressway 275 478,118 10,387,652 6 9,644 259,580
Urban other principal arterial 1,085 1,381,283 22,586,370 41 73,676 1,012,320
Urban minor arterial 906 836,275 11,295,178 36 45,469 400,480
Urban collector 573 256,425 2,671,085 25 9,451 127,130
Urban local road 986 300,928 1,985,140 50 17,210 104,490
Total 20,177 10,275,911 164,019,040 871 407,294 4,903,175
Type of Work Number of Bridges Cost to Repair
(in millions)
Daily Crossings Area of Bridges
(sq. meters)
Bridge replacement 1,015 $353 3,982,375 353,516
Widening & rehabilitation 3,473 $445 19,734,856 1,376,081
Rehabilitation 2,471 $819 39,256,458 1,503,430
Deck rehabilitation/replacement 117 $190 918,539 287,467
Other structural work 267 $44 1,608,876 133,464
Total 7,343 $1,850 65,501,104 3,653,958

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.

42
from 44 in 2017

in the nation in % of structurally deficient bridges

1. Rhode Island 23.1%
41. Arkansas 4.6%
42. Tennessee 4.3%
43. Alabama 4.3%

20
from 20 in 2017

in the nation in # of structurally deficient bridges

1. Iowa 4,675
19. South Dakota 973
20. Tennessee 871
21. South Carolina 795
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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