A new national report [Download PDF] finds 19% of the bridges on Nebraska’s rural roads are “deficient.”
The report was prepared by a national research group whose work is financed by groups and businesses involved in the road construction industry — an industry lobbying for more government spending on roads.
Stephen Sandherr, the C.E.O. of the Associated General Contractors of America, says poor rural bridge conditions prevent farmers from quickly moving their grain and livestock to market.
“The state of the nation’s rural roads and bridges is distressingly bad,” he says.
Frank Moretti is the report’s author. He concluded nearly one-in-five of the bridges on Nebraska’s rural roads have significant deficiencies that endanger the economy as well as those who drive over those bridges.
“The quality of life in America’s small communities and rural areas and the health of the nation’s rural economy is based largely on the production of energy, food and fiber,” Moretti says. “These are sectors of the economy that are highly reliant on the quality of the transportation system, particularly roads and bridges and highways which provide the first and last link in the supply chain from farm to market.”
Twenty-three percent of Iowa’s rural bridges and 21-percent of South Dakota’s were rated as deficient.