More than $27 billion to states and tribal transportation facilities to fix an estimated 15,000 bridges nationwide
The U.S. Department of Transportation has launched the historic Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection, and Construction Program, made possible by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The bridge program, to be administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), provides $26.5 billion to states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico over five years, and $825 million for tribal transportation facilities. The total amount that will be available to states, D.C. and Puerto Rico in Fiscal Year 2022 is $5.3 billion along with $165 million for tribes. The FHWA also published initial guidance on the new program.
“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 U.S. 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.”
“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,” Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack says. “It will also modernize bridges to withstand the effects of climate change and to make them safer for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians.”
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 IIJA includes an incentive for states to direct the new bridge 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 percent state or local funding, the guidance issued by the DOT notes that federal funds can be used for 100 percent of the cost of repairing or rehabilitating such locally owned off-system bridges.
The IIJA is a once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure, which will grow the economy, enhance U.S. competitiveness in the world, create good jobs and make our transportation system more sustainable and equitable. Specific to the FHWA, the law provides more than $350 billion over five fiscal years for surface transportation programs.