Skip
Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

1 minute read

If Only All Of America’s Crumbling Bridges Could Be Repaired This Fast

Our infrastructure is crumbling, but this fast bridge construction (which you can watch at high-speed) shows how we could solve the problem, if only we had the political will to do it.

If Only All Of America’s Crumbling Bridges Could Be Repaired This Fast

A 99-year-old bridge was rebuilt in just 39 months, but you can watch the entire process in the time-lapse video below in two minutes.

Either way, it’s fast. The Kenneth F. Burns Memorial Bridge replacement project, in Massachusetts, is a rare construction project that finished ahead of schedule (by four months) and under budget (by $5 million). The video, courtesy of EarthCam, which had an HD camera on the construction site from August 2012 to November 2015, captures the rebuilding of the 870-foot span, including new car and bike lanes and lighting.

The bridge was a major project under Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Accelerated Bridge Program, a $3 billion fund created in 2008 after a bridge collapse in Minnesota killed 13 people. The state—which has among the oldest bridges in the nation—wanted to use the funds to repair or replace 270 of the state’s most neglected and "structurally deficient" bridges. Since the program started, the total number of these deficient bridges dropped from 543 to 408, according to MassDOT, which is still a scarily large backlog for infrastructure that could collapse and kill people.

Now that the program is expiring this year, The Boston Globe reports an estimated $14.4 billion in repairs are still needed—and the bill grows every year that repairs are delayed. And Massachusetts’s infrastructure woes echo the nation’s. Today, only 8.6% of the bridges in the state are deficient, which is below the national average of 10%. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, over 200 million million trips are taken across structurally deficient bridges in the nation’s 102 largest metro areas every day. Have a good commute!

loading