It’s not just the MBTA’s woes giving managers at the state’s transportation department headaches. Roads and bridges are falling apart too.

Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack laid out her department’s longer-term spending plans before a legislative committee Wednesday. Pollack told lawmakers that though the needs of the MBTA system have been the focus of much of the government’s attention this year, there are still roads and bridges in dire needs of repairs.

Take for instance the 5,000 bridges over 20 feet in the state’s inventory:

“The majority of the bridges in the state are now more than 40 years old, and a significant number, as you can see, are 60, 80 or even 100 years old. So we obviously have a challenge with bridges in Massachusetts,” Pollack testified before the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation.

To get back to a state of mostly good repair, Pollack said MassDOT will have to pull off balancing three major priorities at once: preventative and scheduled maintenance for current operations, actions to reduce the deep backlog of repairs needed for roads and bridges, and investing in modernizing and expanding the system.

“Transportation is a network and there are places where their are missing links in the network, or where the size in the link in the network isn’t big enough to carry the amount of people,” Pollack said.

In this year’s capital spending, the MassDOT Highway Division spent $1.5 billion, with another $200 million going to towns and cities for road repair.

Senate committee chair Tom McGee (D-Lynn) said the hearing came about because the Legislature wants to know more about how much the state needs to spend on roads and bridges.

“My concern is what is the state of the system and where do we need to go with it and do we have our hands completely around what… roads are in shape. I mean look at the number, over 3,800 bridges are 40 years or older,” McGee said.

One of McGee’s other concerns will soon be how to sway his suburban and rural colleagues on the extraordinary costs of repairing the T. Lawmakers with constituents far from a T stop or bus line may be wary of supporting whatever investment bails the MBTA out of it’s massive backlog of needed repairs.

Money tagged for road and bridge repairs, however, is mana to local officials always in need of open bridges and smoothed over potholes.

Pollack’s report to the panel is part of the process to identify what, and how much, needs to go into the state road system so that it too can have an accurate price tag like the struggling MBTA. From there, state officials may finally get around to discussing what revenues may be needed to put the repair projects on the agenda.