In Pennsylvania, there are nearly 6,000 bridges in disrepair – the most in the nation. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 39 percent of bridges in the state are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. In the first segment of a five part series on infrastructure in the U.S., PBS NewsHour Senior Correspondent Ray Suarez reports with Blueprint America on Pennsylvania’s aging bridges.
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In March of this year, an overpass on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia was found to be near collapse, resulting in an emergency repair job and the temporary closing of one of the northeast’s busiest roadways.
Replacing just this single troubled 8-mile section of highway will cost an estimated $2 billion. And, like any other state, there is limited money to draw from — both on the state and federal level.
“States and local governments in this country pay 75 percent of the cost of maintaining our infrastructure,” says Gov. Ed Rendell (D., PA), an advocate for bipartisan efforts for increased federal infrastructure spending, “Unless the federal government is willing to step up and develop a real infrastructure repair program, we are never going to be able to do the two things we need to do: one, maintain what we have and two, build new things.”
Web Exclusive: For an extended interview on infrastructure with Gov. Ed Rendell, click here.