HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - A new report claims that more than 300 bridges across the state are in desperate need of repair.
The report from TRIP, a national transportation research group, was officially released Thursday morning in Hartford.
It said 308 of the state's 4,254 bridges are structurally deficient. TRIP called that the fourth highest share in the nation.
“Our outdated, outmoded and potentially dangerous bridges and other structures desperately need robust federal investment,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal. “The time for talk is over. Action is needed now.“
Looking around at some of the bridges in Connecticut and it’s easy to understand the concerns.
The Interstate 84 bridge that runs over Union Station in Hartford is one of the most heavily traveled structurally deficient bridges in the state, the report said.
"We're not suggesting they're unsafe or someone is in peril," said Rocky Moretti. "The point of the reports is they are absolutely vital to the quality of life in Connecticut, certainly vital to our economy in our state."
The bridges above Forrest Street under Interstate 84 are crumbling. The concrete is cracked and chipped.
"We have known about this problem for years," Blumenthal said. "Our failure to act is unforgivable."
These structures are just a small deteriorating piece of the problem.
“They’re ridiculous, I wish they would do something about them,” said Lenora Daniels.
A significant number of the state's bridges were built in the 1950s through the 1970s. TRIP said the design life of a bridge is typically 50 years.
The average age of the state's structurally deficient bridges is 69 years.
“We pay enough taxes they should really do something about it. They always tell us that that’s what the money is going for it never happens,” Daniels said.
Help may not arrive anytime soon. Connecticut's transportation fund is pretty much empty and $4 billion of projects are already on hold.
Some think rushing bridge repairs should be a priority.
"If you want to bring business back to this state you better have an infrastructure that works," said Rep. Tony Guerrera, who serves Newington, Rocky Hill and Wethersfield.
Drivers said something needs to change. These cracks and chips aren’t just ugly, they make driving over Connecticut’s bridges unnerving.
“You’re afraid, you never know if something is going to happen,” Daniels said.
TRIP's executive director underscored the importance of making repairs.
“Connecticut’s bridges are a critical component of the state’s transportation system, providing crucial connections for personal mobility, economic growth and quality of life,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without increased and reliable transportation funding, numerous projects to improve and preserve Connecticut’s aging bridges will not move forward, hampering the state’s ability to efficiently and safety move people and goods.”
Take a look at the report here: