Bridges can be stressful to drive for a number of reasons but there are some in Eastern Iowa that aren't looking too good lately.

If you've driven on any bridges in Iowa and thought to yourself "this bridge is a piece of poop" (for lack of better word), you may not be too far removed from the truth.

A new report from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association ranks Iowa as #1 for the largest amount of bridges in poor condition. Considering we just wrapped up road trip season, I don't find this fact comforting.

And the top two most "structurally deficient" bridges in Iowa are right here in the QCA.

ARTBA defines "structurally deficient" as when a key part of the bridge (the actual driving superstructure or the support beams) are in poor or worse condition. But one nugget to note before we talk about those bridges: don't just shoot into a panic. Chief Economist for ARTBA, Dr. Alison Black, told WQAD:

I think people should be aware of the conditions they don't have to worry per se. State DOT's are very good, If there's any concern about safety and the traveling public, they will either post a bridge for load, which means they'll restrict the weight, or maybe truck traffic that crosses the bridge or in extreme cases, they may shut down a lane or the entire bridge.


The Worst Offenders

Sarah Stringer/Townsquare Media
Sarah Stringer/Townsquare Media

According to ARTBA, Centennial Bridge, which was built in 1940, is the most traveled structurally deficient bridge in the state. The report finds there are nearly 30,000 people who cross the bridge daily.

Centennial Bridge inspection records show it's always been labeled as structurally deficient since 2004. But the most recent inspection was in July and the bridge just finished it's huge renovation project so there's no word yet on if it's rating has improved since the project has been completed. I can however confirm that the speed limit signs are still useless on this bridge.

The Worst Offenders Part 2

Google Maps
Google Maps

The second worst ("most traveled structurally deficient") bridge in Iowa is none other than the QC's own I-280 bridge also from Davenport to Rock Island.

This bridge has nearly 24,000 crossings daily.

I guess the good news to be gleaned from ARTBA's report is that there are less bridges in Iowa that need work now as compared to the number from 2019. But it's still about 19% of the state's bridges that are "structurally deficient".

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