Bridges, culverts, and tunnels are critical
building blocks of an efficient transportation system. They are
the efficiently-engineered solution to overcome the inevitable
conflicts within an interconnected network.
Bridge location, design, and structural health are a key element in
planning and maintaining an effective transportation network. Although
bridges are essential for minimizing system interferences, they are
bottlenecks created by their geographical constraints and constrained
capacity. Furthermore, the damage to or complete loss of a critical
crossing can significantly impact the entire system and create immediate
and secondary economic damage. The condition of these structures is key
to the smooth flow of transportation in the region.
Bridges in the Richmond Region
Bridge dependability is especially important in the Richmond region
due to the relatively high number of bridges in a region with numerous
interstate freeways and state highways, the crossroads of three major
railroad systems, and multiple major rivers and the creeks and streams
that feed them. Concerned about the number of aging bridges in the
region and the apparent lack of funding for maintaining or replacing
them, the Richmond Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RRTPO)
began tracking the condition and funding of the regionís bridges in
The Richmond Regional Bridge and Culvert Inventory & Structural
Assessment Report (published in 2014) was the regionís first attempt
to inventory all the structures in the region and identify those in poor
condition (i.e., structurally deficient, functionally obsolete, weight
posted). The report includes a list of structures eligible for federal
bridge replacement funds and federal bridge rehabilitation funds.
2015 update of the report utilizes data captured from the online
dashboard maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)
as of January 15, 2015.