Bay Area bridges and overpasses are in their best shape since 1998, thanks to substantial efforts to improve the seismic and structural safety of these critical facilities. In 2012, the share of bridges flagged as structurally deficient fell by two percentage points – and now stands at just 15 percent.
The region has made dramatic progress in a relatively short time period. In the early 2000s, nearly 20 percent of the region’s bridges were added to the list of deficient facilities, presenting a major infrastructure challenge to regional and state authorities. Over the past decade, seismic retrofit programs on highway bridges as well as upgrades to elevated freeway structures helped to bring about improvements, restoring conditions to levels that had not been seen since the 1990s.