Problems for Dozens of NJ Bridges

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    NEWSLETTERS

    jsobarr/Instagram

    A look at the state of bridges in New Jersey:

    THE DATA: An Associated Press data analysis found that 184 bridges in New Jersey are considered both ``structurally deficient'' and ``fracture critical.''

    Among them are bridges on heavily traveled roads including the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike and Interstate 80.

    A bridge is deemed ``fracture critical'' when it does not have redundant protections and is at risk of collapse if a single, vital component fails. A bridge is ``structurally deficient'' when it is in need of rehabilitation or replacement because at least one major component of the span has advanced deterioration or other problems that lead inspectors to deem its condition ``poor'' or worse.
     
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    THE REPAIR PLAN: New Jersey is planning to spend $744 million from its transportation trust fund and other sources for bridge work in the current fiscal year. That represents about one-fifth of the $3.8 billion the state is planning to spend on all transportation work during the year.
     
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    THE BIG ONE: Some work has begun on rebuilding parts of the Pulaski Skyway, the state's highest-profile troubled bridge. It connects Newark with Jersey City. Lane closures are planned to begin next year in a project expected to cost about $1 billion.
     
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    THE ANALYSIS:

    The AP analyzed data involving 607,380 bridges in the National Bridge Inventory that are subject to National Bridge Inspection Standards. On a national basis, there are 65,605 structurally deficient bridges and 20,808 fracture critical bridges, according to the most recently available federal government data.

    A bridge is deemed "fracture critical'' when it does not have redundant protections and is at risk of collapse if a single, vital component fails. A bridge is "structurally deficient'' when it is in need of rehabilitation or replacement because at least one major component of the span has advanced deterioration or other problems that lead inspectors to deem its condition ``poor'' or worse.

    Some 7,795 bridges nationwide fall into both categories _ a combination of red flags that experts say is particularly problematic.