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Google Maps: Structurally Deficient Bridges In New York

There are 1,885 bridges that are designated as Structurally Deficient in New York State. A deficient condition rating indicates deterioration at a level that requires corrective maintenance or rehabilitation to restore the bridge to its fully functional, non-deficient condition. It does not mean that the bridge is unsafe. This map shows them along with the sufficiency rating of the bridge. Red and yellow marked bridges are in the most need of repair, while blue and green have more minor issues.

Data Source: National Bridge Inventory. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/nbi.cfm

Percent of Bridges by Rating in Each County

In New York State, bridge inspectors assess all of a bridge’s individual parts. They are required to evaluate, assign a condition score, and document the condition of up to 47 structural elements, including rating 25 components of each span of a bridge, in addition to general components common to all bridges. The NYSDOT condition rating scale ranges from 1 to 7, with 7 being in new condition and a rating of 5 or greater considered as good condition.

NYSDOT also computes an overall New York State condition rating for each bridge by combining the ratings of individual components using a weighted average formula. This formula assigns greater weights to the ratings of the bridge elements having the greatest structural importance and lesser weights for minor structural and non-structural elements. If a bridge has multiple spans, each element common to the spans is rated and the lowest individual span element rating is used in the condition rating formula.

NYSDOT defines a deficient bridge as one with a State condition rating less than 5.0. A deficient condition rating indicates deterioration at a level that requires corrective maintenance or rehabilitation to restore the bridge to its fully functional, non-deficient condition. It does not mean that the bridge is unsafe.

All bridges also are analyzed for their capacity to carry vehicular loads. Bridges that cannot safely carry heavy vehicles, such as some tractor trailers, are posted with weight limits. Based upon inspection and load capacity analysis, any bridge deemed unsafe gets closed.

Data Source: Bridge Conditions, NYS Department of Transportation. https://data.ny.gov/Transportation/Bridge-Conditions-NYS-Department-of-Transportation/wpyb-cjy8

Google Maps: Average Bridge Rating By Municipality

This map shows the average of bridge ratings for most towns in New York State. Some of the towns are lacking data or did not match when I completed the data join yesterday.

In New York State, bridge inspectors assess all of a bridge’s individual parts. They are required to evaluate, assign a condition score, and document the condition of up to 47 structural elements, including rating 25 components of each span of a bridge, in addition to general components common to all bridges. The NYSDOT condition rating scale ranges from 1 to 7, with 7 being in new condition and a rating of 5 or greater considered as good condition.

NYSDOT also computes an overall New York State condition rating for each bridge by combining the ratings of individual components using a weighted average formula. This formula assigns greater weights to the ratings of the bridge elements having the greatest structural importance and lesser weights for minor structural and non-structural elements. If a bridge has multiple spans, each element common to the spans is rated and the lowest individual span element rating is used in the condition rating formula.

NYSDOT defines a deficient bridge as one with a State condition rating less than 5.0. A deficient condition rating indicates deterioration at a level that requires corrective maintenance or rehabilitation to restore the bridge to its fully functional, non-deficient condition. It does not mean that the bridge is unsafe.

https://www.dot.ny.gov/main/bridgedata

Structurally Deficient and Functionally Obsolete Bridges in NYS, by County

Bridges are considered “structurally deficient,” according to the FHWA, if significant load carrying elements are found to be in poor or worse condition due to deterioration and/or damage, the bridge has inadequate load capacity, or repeated bridge flooding causes traffic delays. The fact that a bridge is "structurally deficient" does not imply that it is unsafe or likely to collapse.

A "structurally deficient" bridge, when left open to traffic, typically requires significant maintenance and repair to remain in service and eventual rehabilitation or replacement to address deficiencies. In order to remain in service, structurally deficient bridges are often posted with weight limits.

“Functionally obsolete” refers to a bridge’s inability to meet current standards for managing the volume of traffic it carries, not its structural integrity. For example, a bridge may be functionally obsolete if it has narrow lanes, no shoulders, or low clearances.

https://www.dot.ny.gov/main/bridgedata

Data Source: Bridge Conditions, NYS Department of Transportation. https://data.ny.gov/Transportation/Bridge-Conditions-NYS-Department-of-Transportation/wpyb-cjy8

Fatal Crashes by Date, 2015

The strongest driver of automobile fatalities throughout the year is the season, followed by the day of the week. People drive more miles in the summer, and are more likely to drive drunk and speed. Automobile fatalities peak on Saturdays and Sundays, especially in the early hours of Saturday morning after the bars close.

Back in the 1950s, local expressways in their planning stages were always known by their nicknames — the proposed Riverfront Route (Interstate 787), Northside Route (Interstate 90), and Crosstown Arterial (NY 85).

Some names have remained — like Alternate Route 7, the Thruway, and the Adirondack Northway but those are the exceptions rather then the rule. I think we should go back to calling the local roads the Riverfront Route, the Northside Route, and the Crosstown Arterial.

Automotive Fatalities per 100,000 population

Another way to look at automotive fatalities is how many people -- as a percentage of the population -- does it effect? It's great that people are able to drive a lot more miles nowadays without getting killed. But it turns out we've also seen that as a percentage of the population, automotive fatalities are much rarer. Many people still die in car crashes, but it's a much smaller fraction of the population then in previous decades. This graph also shows the dramatic improvements to automobile safety and driver education.

Data Source: List of motor vehicle deaths in U.S. by year. https://www.wikiwand.com/en/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year

Fatalities per 100 million miles driven

In 1924, 24.01 Americans died per 100 million miles driven. In contrast, the lowest number of fatalities was in 2014, when only 1.08 Americans died per 100 million miles driven. This number ticketed up 1.12 per 100 million miles in 2015, and is expected to climb slightly in 2016, due to the record high mileages. While cars are getting safer, people are driving record milage, and when people drive more, roads are more crowded, and there inevitably more crashes.

Data Source: List of motor vehicle deaths in U.S. by year. https://www.wikiwand.com/en/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year

Millions of Miles Driven by Americans, monthly

During July 2016, Americans drove more miles then any time in our history. Americans put 286,213,000,000 miles on their automobiles during the month. That's 2.6 times what they put on their cars during July 1970. After several years of stagnating driving, Americans are driving more miles now then at any time in the past.

Data Source: U.S. Federal Highway Administration, Moving 12-Month Total Vehicle Miles Traveled [M12MTVUSM227NFWA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/M12MTVUSM227NFWA, February 14, 2017.