PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Oregon Department of Transportation said in 2021, 40 of the bridges it oversees were in “poor” condition and in need of improvements or replacing. 

The number of bridges rated “poor” dropped by two from the year previously, 2020. ODOT currently manages 2,766 bridges and gives them all a rating – good, fair or poor. 

The department says it’s managing its poor bridges “reasonably well,” but that the number of bridges moving from good condition to fair condition shows they can’t keep up with the maintenance required to keep bridges in good condition. In the last two years, ODOT said 53 bridges had declining conditions while only 25 bridges had improved conditions. 

The overwhelming majority of bridges in Oregon are rated “fair.” According to ODOT, the number of bridges rated “poor” has declined since 2011, but so has the number of bridges rated “good.”  

ODOT Bridge conditions over the last 10 years
ODOT Bridge conditions over the last 10 years, 2011-2021 (Oregon Department of Transportation)

ODOT spokesperson Katherine Benenati says just because bridges are rated “poor” does not mean they’re unsafe to drive on or at risk of collapsing. However, things that could lead to a “poor” rating include cracking, faulting and signs of erosion around the support structure. 

Compared to the other western states of Idaho, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and California, Oregon has the fewest National Highway System bridges rated “good.” Its number of “poor” is about average among these states. 

ODOT Bridge conditions over the last 10 years
Oregon’s 2020 bridge conditions compared to Idaho, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and California. (Oregon Department of Transportation)

ODOT says the funding it currently has from the state and federal government is not enough to to allow them to keep up with deteriorating bridge conditions. 

ODOT shared the 2021 bridge condition report data with KOIN, which shows how each ODOT bridge in the state was rated. The full list is below.

Note that some highways listed in this chart are not highways located near the bridge sites. ODOT has its own system for numbering highways, which can be found in the 2022 Bridge Log.

Editor’s note: The 2021 Bridge Condition Report from ODOT states there were 42 bridges in “poor” condition, but ODOT says the correct number is 40.