USDOT announces $27bn bridge-investment plan – largest since construction of the interstates

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The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has launched its historic Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection, and Construction Program (Bridge Formula Program), made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The program represents the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system – providing $26.5 billion to states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico over five years and $825 million for tribal transportation facilities.

In the fiscal year 2022 the program, to be administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), will provide $5.3 billion to states, D.C. and Puerto Rico and $165 million for tribes. The FHWA has also published initial guidance on the new program.

US Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg

“The Biden-Harris Administration is thrilled to launch this program to fix thousands of bridges across the country – the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the Interstate highway system,” says US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Modernizing America’s bridges will help improve safety, support economic growth, and make people’s lives better in every part of the country – across rural, suburban, urban, and tribal communities.”

Stephanie Pollack

“This record amount of funding, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will allow states and tribal governments to fix the bridges most in need of repair,” says deputy federal highway administrator Stephanie Pollack. “It will also modernize bridges to withstand the effects of climate change and to make them safer for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians. Every state has bridges in poor condition and in need of repair, including bridges with weight restrictions that may force lengthy detours for travelers, school buses, first responders or trucks carrying freight.”

Nationwide, the Bridge Formula Program is expected to help repair approximately 15,000 highway bridges. In addition to providing funds to states to replace, rehabilitate, preserve, protect, and construct highway bridges, the Bridge Formula Program has dedicated funding for tribal transportation facility bridges as well as “off-system” bridges, which are generally locally owned facilities not on the federal-aid highway system.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes an incentive for states to direct the new Bridge Formula Program funds to off-system bridges owned by a county, city, town or other local agency. While states generally must match federal funding with up to 20% state or local funding, the guidance issued today notes that federal funds can be used for 100% of the cost of repairing or rehabilitating such locally owned off-system bridges.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure, which will grow the economy, enhance US competitiveness in the world, create good jobs, and make our transportation system more sustainable and equitable. Specific to the FHWA, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides more than $350 billion over five fiscal years for surface transportation programs.

FHWA released the first tranche of Bridge Formula Program funding to states for Fiscal Year 2022 in addition to the program guidance. For a map of bridges, please see https://infobridge.fhwa.dot.gov/ and USDOT Bridge Formula Program Funding and Condition by State.  Here is State-by-state BFP funding Fiscal Years 2022-2026

Lead Image: AdobeStock

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About Author

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).