Bad bridges: Detroit Free Press investigation on infrastructure quotes Tabatabai

Why are so many Midwest bridges in poor condition?

Nationwide, about 8% of bridges are in poor condition and repairing them could take decades. The percentage of bridges in poor condition among Wisconsin and its neighbors are: Iowa, 19%; Michigan, 11%; Illinois, 8.5%; Wisconsin, 7.4%; Minnesota, 6%.

Habib Tabatabai, associate professor, civil & environmental engineering, was quoted extensively in this May 14 Detroit Free Press investigative piece on what the writer calls the “nightmarish” state of Michigan’s bridges. The article, “Michigan’s bridges are bad — and a fix could take nearly a century,” includes a look at the issues of maintenance and repair, weather, and the politics of funding and allocation.

Tabatabai has researched and written extensively on bridge deck reliability in the United States and in the northern United States.