july 22, 2015

I-10 bridge collapse should serve as wake-up call for Arizona

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PHONIX – The Tex Wash bridge collapse on eastbound I-10 shut down the major commercial trade route between Arizona and California. The Tex Wash Bridge was declared functionally obsolete in the National Bridge Inventory in 2013. Functionally obsolete means the bridge is no longer adequate for its task, although not listed as having structural problems that needed to be fixed.

Arizona has 256 Structurally Deficient bridges and 684 Functionally Obsolete bridges. Despite the significant risk to the driving public, the legislature continues to sweep revenue from the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF) and has failed to increase transportation funding since 1992.

The closure of I-10 between Phoenix and Los Angeles will have a huge impact on Arizona’s economy. Trucks are being re-routed hundreds of miles out of the way, which costs time and money. Additionally, shippers will now have to figure out how the closure affects their supply chain in the near and long-term.

“Arizona drivers’ lives are at stake as they cross a structurally deficient bridge an astonishing 1.6 million times a day,” stated Tony Bradley, President and CEO, Arizona Trucking Association. “Safe roads and bridges are vital to Arizona’s economy, but safe roads cost money. It’s time Arizona has an adult conversation about how to increase funding for our roads and highways.”
The average Arizonan pays around $10.56 a month in state gas taxes, compared to $1,420 on housing, $225 on dining, $216 on entertainment, $53 for personal care, and $105 a month for phone expense.

Arizona Bridge Profile Stats1:
8,035 Bridges in Arizona
256 structurally deficient bridges
684 functionally obsolete bridges

1. Source: American Road & Transportation Builders Association, State Bridge Profile Arizona, found at: http://www.artba.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Arizona-State-Bridge-Profile.pdf.

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