MDOT SHA Poor Rated Bridges

Poor Rated Bridges on the Maryland State Highway System

As of March 15, 2019

The poor condition rating, which is a result of an in-depth hands-on bridge inspection, is an early warning sign for engineers to initiate the rehabilitation or replacement process and to use when prioritizing funding.

The rating applies to three main elements of a bridge:

  1. the deck (riding surface)
  2. the superstructure (main supporting element of the deck, usually beams, girders, and trusses)
  3. the substructure (supports to hold up the superstructure and deck, usually abutments and piers)

These elements are rated on a scale from zero (closed to traffic) to nine (relatively new). If any of the
three elements is rated as a four or less, the bridge is categorized in poor condition by federal standards. This does not mean that the bridge is unsafe.

If a bridge becomes unsafe, it will be closed.

The information below is taken from the annual submission (PDF, 26kb) to FHWA made on March 15, 2019. This submission reports that there are 2,554 bridges on the Maryland State Highway System, of which 52 are classified in poor condition, or about 2%.


Summary for 2018
Number of poor rated bridges on March 15, 2018 62
Number of poor rated bridges  addressed in 2018 18
SUBTOTAL 44
Number of bridges which became poor rated in 2018 8
Total number of structurally deficient bridges on March 15, 2019 52