Nevada bridges were recently ranked best in the nation for the second year in a row. That’s according to a new report from the American Road and Transportation Builder’s Association. As Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports, there’s a lot that goes into getting and keeping that ranking.
The Nevada Department of Transportation allocated $33 million dollars for bridge preservation in 2013-14. Most of that comes from federal and state gas taxes. Spokeswoman Meg Ragonese says that while that helped, it’s not the only reason Nevada received the top ranking.
“The dry, desert climate that we have in Nevada is actually more conducive for infrastructure and structures like bridges than, for example, some of the wetter climates back east might be.”
Ragonese says the DOT evaluates bridges every two years. But it’s also responsible for building new infrastructure.
“So we always run a very important balance between preserving and maintaining the roads that already exist with new roads that are needed as the state population continues to increase.”
Nevada had the lowest rate of deficient bridges in 2015, at 1.8 percent. The national average is 9.6.
“The word deficient doesn’t necessarily mean the bridge is in any type of safety danger for those traveling across the bridge," Ragonese says. "What it means is that bridge is going to be in the future needing preventative or corrective measures to ensure that it remains safe.”
There are approximately 1,900 public bridges in Nevada.