Indiana is home to 18,551 bridges. According to the Federal Highway Administration, nearly 1,230 Indiana bridges are structurally deficient and another 411 are functionally obsolete. This means more than 9 percent of all Indiana bridges need significant rehabilitation or replacement while another 23 percent are in need of repair.
As a result, many of the state's roads and bridges can no longer accommodate farm machinery or semi-trucks, forcing farmers to take longer routes to legally reach their local elevator.
Old roads and obsolete bridges cut into farmer profits. A recent transportation infrastructure study funded by the Indiana soybean checkoff shows that when infrastructure problems hold up transportation of machinery or commodities, farmers may be forced to detour, which costs them profit.
It’s estimated that a closed bridge can cost the average CRD (crop reporting district) $1.8 million.