With more than 25,400 state-owned highway bridges greater than or equal to 8' in length, Pennsylvania has the third-largest number of bridges in the nation. The average age of bridges on the state system is over 50 years old.
PennDOT is committed to maintaining and improving bridges through bridge preservation activities, including painting, deck joint repair or replacement, rigid deck overlays, etc. In the long run, preservation saves money by extending bridge service life, thus deferring the need for major rehabilitation of bridges.
PennDOT conducts approximately 18,000 inspections each year on the state-owned highway bridges. Inspection intervals are set based on each bridge’s condition ratings and several other criteria. These intervals typically range from 6 months up to a maximum of 48 months. PennDOT has oversight responsibility of 6,600 locally owned bridges greater than 20' in length, including monitoring to ensure they are inspected timely, that reports are provided to the local bridge owner, and to collaborate with the bridge owner, and to collaborate with the bridge owner on any required work where necessary.
More information on bridge safety inspections, plans and specifications, and more is on our department Bridges page.