Olympia, Wash. — More than 49 million square feet of bridges measured by deck area under the Washington State Department of Transportation’s care are in fair or better condition. Size wise, this is roughly the equivalent of a two-lane highway stretching from Seattle to Spokane.

WSDOT recently published its quarterly performance and accountability report, the Gray Notebook, and states that 92.1 percent of state-owned bridges measured by deck area are in fair or better condition. It is an improvement from 91.4 percent in 2010, and shows about a 700,000 square foot reduction in the bridges by deck area that were in poor condition.

“This is good news because it shows our use of best management practices and innovative strategies are working. In fact, we’ve shown fairly consistent improvement in bridge conditions since 2010,” said Tom Baker, WSDOT Bridge and Structures office. Preservation strategies, including painting and bridge deck overlays, reduce lifecycle costs and extend the life of structures.

Other highlights from the Gray Notebook’s annual report on bridge preservation include:

• Of the 3,288 state-owned bridges, 120 have weight restrictions in fiscal year 2015, a decrease from 137 weight-restricted bridges in fiscal year 2014.

• WSDOT is scheduled to begin construction on 44 bridge preservation projects during the 2015-2017 biennium.

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