DOT Dedicates $27 Billion to Bridge Repairs Nationwide

President Joe Biden speaks about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law  on Jan. 14
President Joe Biden speaks about investing in bridges as Mitch Landrieu, Senior Advisor & Infrastructure Act Implementation Coordinator, looks on. (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

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The U.S. Department of Transportation is allocating $26.5 billion for repairs to bridges around the country in what the White House is calling the nation’s largest investment in bridges since the creation of the interstate highway system.

The Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection and Construction Program — more simply, the Bridge Formula Program — was made possible through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed by President Joe Biden in November. The program will be administered by the Federal Highway Administration, and calls for $26.5 billion to be distributed over five years to states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, as well as $825 million for tribal transportation facilities.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is thrilled to launch this program to fix thousands of bridges across the country,” said DOT 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.”

The goal is to repair 15,000 bridges nationwide.

“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,” said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack .

During the 2022 fiscal year, $165 million will be allocated to tribes and $5.3 billion for the states, D.C. and Puerto Rico. The states receiving the highest funds over five years are:

  • California — $4.2 billion for 1,536 bridges.
  • New York — $1.9 billion for 1,702 bridges.
  • Pennsylvania — $1.6 billion for 3,353 bridges.
  • Illinois — $1.4 billion for 2,374 bridges.
  • New Jersey — $1.1 billion for 502 bridges.
  • Massachusetts — $1.1 billion for 472 bridges.
  • Louisiana — $1 billion for 1,634 bridges.

Those allocated the lowest amounts — each receiving $225 million over the five-year-period — are Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

“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,” Pollack added. “It will also modernize bridges to withstand the effects of climate change and to make them safer for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians.”

The infrastructure bill includes an incentive for states to direct the funds to off-system bridges owned by a county, city, town or other local agency. According to guidance from the government, funding used in this way can cover the total cost of repairing or rehabilitating these bridges. This could be done in place of the typical practice of states having to match up to 20% of federal funds on such projects.

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