Bad Bridges in New Jersey
  NJ is home to over 6,800 bridges
  NJ's bridges are better than two dozen other states
  Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent rebuilding bridges every year

We all know how busy New Jersey is and with millions of drivers on the road, bridges and overpasses across New Jersey get beaten up pretty badly.

But just how bad are the bridges and overpasses in this state?

First, consider these facts.

Millions of Jersey Drivers

In addition, the Garden State is home to the busiest stretch of highway in America — where the New Jersey Turnpike meets Route 4 in Fort Lee on the approach to the George Washington Bridge.

New Jersey Turnpike - Photo: Google Maps
New Jersey Turnpike - Photo: Google Maps

Of course, just about all of us get to see those statistics play out in real life every time we drive somewhere around here. A trip to your local supermarket can be almost as aggravating as trying to navigate the Garden State Parkway on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of summer.

How are the Bridges in New Jersey?

So with millions of people on the road, how are the bridges in New Jersey?

Overall, not too bad, but there are some exceptions.

An old bridge is closed in Camden County NJ - Photo: Chris Coleman
An old bridge is closed in Camden County NJ - Photo: Chris Coleman

The American Road and Transportation Builders Association describes itself as a "non-partisan federation whose primary goal is to aggressively grow and protect transportation infrastructure investment to meet the public and business demand for safe and efficient travel."

According to a report from that group that cited information from the Federal Highway Administration National Bridge Inventory,

  • At last check, 442, or 6.5%, of bridges in New Jersey are classified as structurally deficient (one of the key elements of the structure is in poor or worse condition). That number is down from 529 in 2019.
  • On a numerical level, the Garden State ranks 25th in the nation with the most structurally deficient bridges (442), or 31st on a percentage basis (6.5%).

To compare, a staggering 20% of bridges in West Virginia are in really bad shape while Iowa has over 4,500 bridges classified as structurally deficient.

Busiest Structurally Deficient Bridges and Overpasses in New Jersey

We took a look at the ten busiest structurally deficient bridges in New Jersey based on how much traffic each one sees every day and found that all of them are in North Jersey with Bergen County having the highest number.

With that said, it's important to note a couple of things.

First, the NJDOT inspects all of these bridges quite frequently and they are aware of the condition that they are in. Plans for improvements and reconstruction, some totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, exist for many of them and several projects have already started.

Also, note that these aren't the overall worst bridges in the state — these are the worst based on the number of vehicles that use them every day. There are bridges in the state that are closed because they are in very poor condition but relatively small numbers of vehicles use them.

10 Most Structurally Deficient Bridges in New Jersey Based on Daily Usage

The most structurally deficient bridges and overpasses in the Garden State, based on the number of vehicles that use them each day.

Gallery Credit: Chris Coleman

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