Serious Corrosion Issue Facing America’s Aging Bridge Infrastructure
David Aimal Kashifi is a Danville, California, corrosion engineer who holds senior responsibilities with Corrosion Protection Solutions. David Aimal Kashifi focuses on developing solutions that help extend the lifespan of aging infrastructure across the United States. According to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, approximately 200,000 bridges nationwide are functionally obsolete or structurally deficient.
This number represents one-third of all bridges, with one-fourth of them more than a half-century old (50 years is considered the average design-life for modern bridges). The direct costs associated with corrosion of public highway infrastructure totals $13.6 billion annually.
Unfortunately, efforts to address this serious issue are underfunded. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that monies allocated toward improving infrastructure in the annual federal budget are less than two-thirds of what is needed. Waiting to repair bridges until a major issue arises increases the costs significantly, compared with timely preventive maintenance.
NACE International, the worldwide society for preventing and remediating corrosion, has forwarded recommendations for employing corrosion control measures during initial construction of bridges that cost relatively little and can result in low-maintenance bridges with a 100-year lifespan.