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The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the first recipients of the Competitive Highway Bridge Program on Aug. 29.
The program, created through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, sets aside $225 million to fund bridge improvement and replacement projects in rural areas. Some 20 projects represented by 18 state departments of transportation have received funding.
“This $225 million in federal funding will enable 18 states to make vital upgrades to select bridges in rural areas,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in a DOT press release.
According to the release, the funds must be used for highway bridge projects on public roads and “bundle” at least two projects into a single contract. Bundling allows participants to address several projects that require similar needs and can save time and money.
The largest individual grant, for $33.4 million, was awarded to the Iowa Department of Transportation to improve up to 77 bridges in poor or fair condition. The improvements will benefit farm-to-market routes across the state. The American Road and Transportation Builders Association found that nearly 20% of Iowa’s bridges are structurally deficient.
Maine received two grants, one for $18.9 million and one for $6.1 million. The $18.9 million grant will improve four bridges along Interstate 295, which winds between Portland and Augusta. The $6.1 million grant will aid three bridges in Franklin County, which is known for its forest products industry.
Another sizable grant provides $20.8 million to Missouri DOT’s Fixing Access to Rural Missouri (FARM) Bridge Program. This funding will help improve 41 bridges using building methods such as accelerated bridge construction.
Colorado DOT received $12.5 million to repair 14 bridges and ensure that important routes will not require load restrictions in the future.
In order to qualify for funding through the program, states must have population densities of fewer than 100 people per square-mile based on Census Bureau data. Twenty-five states met these qualifications.
“The projects funded under the program will serve as models for similar bridge improvement projects throughout the nation,” said Federal Highway Administrator Nicole Nason. “They are examples of how to achieve time and cost savings through innovation.”
|State||Project Name||Project Description||Funding|
|AL||I-85 Exit 60, Norfolk Southern Railroad, and Long Street Bridge Replacement Project||Improves six bridges in poor or fair condition and improves a section of interstate resulting in a boost for both local and regional economies.||$10,855,000|
|AK||South Seward Highway Bridge Project||Improves the condition of three bridges in poor or fair condition and uses innovative techniques to accelerate bridge construction. It will ensure continued service to Seward from Anchorage via a land route.||$11,567,000|
|AZ||US 191 Bridge Bundling Project||Improves the condition of bridges in poor and fair condition and uses innovative techniques to accelerate bridge construction. The project will improve and maintain the reliability of the transportation route though the Navajo Nation.||$10,365,000|
|AR||Osceola Area Economic Development Project||The project improves the condition of 14 bridges in poor condition, and supports the local economy.||$16,161,000|
|CO||Concrete Box Culvert and Corrugated Metal Pipe Culvert Program||Improves the condition of up to 14 bridges in poor or fair condition with innovative project delivery techniques. It will ensure key routes will not require future load restrictions in southern and western Colorado.||$12,475,000|
|ID||Local Technical Assistance Council Project||The project improves eight bridges in poor condition, supports the economy and improves the connectivity of local roads.||$6,289,000|
|IA||Bridges for Iowa's Future||Improves the condition of up to 77 bridges in poor or fair condition or that are load posted and will use accelerated bridge construction technologies. It will improve several farm-to-market routes across the state.||$33,442,000|
|KS||Gray, Clark and Meade County Bridge Bundle||Improves five load-restricted bridges. The project will support the local economy by removing load restrictions and widening the bridges.||$3,913,000|
|ME||Franklin County Bridges Project||Improves the condition of three bridges in poor condition. The project promotes the use of new technologies. It will benefit the region's forest products industry and tourism.||$6,118,000|
|ME||I-295 Bridges Project||Improves the condition of four bridges in poor condition using accelerated bridge construction technologies. It will benefit the region's economy and tourism.||$18,938,000|
|MN||District 1/St. Louis County Bridge Bundling Project||The project will improve the condition of 21 bridges in poor condition and will benefit the region's local industries.||$10,252,000|
|MS||Bridge Replacements in Lincoln, Marion, Jefferson Davis and Walthall Counties||Improves the condition of eight bridges in poor condition, including three that are currently closed using innovative technologies. It will improve the overall condition of transportation infrastructure and maintain access to life services for residents.||$6,666,000|
|MS||Bridge Replacements in Tallahatchie, Yalobusha and Attala Counties||Improves the condition of four bridges in poor condition. This project will improve the overall condition of transportation infrastructure and maintain access to life services for residents along with benefiting the region's economic activities by improving access to rural Mississippi.||$10,139,000|
|MO||Fixing Access to Rural Missouri (FARM) Bridge Program||Improves the condition of 41 bridges in poor condition using innovative project delivery methods and accelerated bridge construction techniques. It will benefit the region's economic activities by improving access to rural Missouri.||$20,794,000|
|NE||Norfolk Northeast Bridges Project||Improves the condition of seven bridges in poor condition using innovative technology. The project will benefit the region's truck traffic, farming and recreation economic activities and maintain access to life services for residents.||$8,484,000|
|NV||I-515 Las Vegas Bridge Replacements||The project will improve the condition of two bridges in poor condition. It will benefit the region's economic activity by maintaining interstate access.||$9,821,000|
|ND||Bridge Rural Replacement Program||Improves the condition of 18 bridges in poor condition. The project promotes the use of standard design details for multiple structures. It will reduce freight and heavy vehicle mileage due to detours from load restricted bridges.||$6,511,000|
|OK||Grant County Bridge Replacement Project||The project will replace 34 bridges in poor or fair condition, improving safety and travel efficiency for motorists.||$3,468,000|
|OR||Douglas County Bridge Replacement Project||Improves the condition of two bridges in poor condition. The project will support the regional economy by maintaining a link of county roads with access to the Interstate.||$16,495,000|
|SD||West River Counties Bridge Replacement Project||Improves the condition of four bridges in poor condition. The project promotes the use of standard design details for multiple structures. It will benefit the local and regional economy.||$2,247,000|