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Source : Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
May 15, 2022
Author : Priyanka Singh
Facilitated through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Pennsylvania is receiving $1.6 billion to repair over 3,000 bridges across its commonwealth.
Governor Tom Wolf already earlier in the year joined with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to unveil the major initiative. At the time, he stated, "This is a historic investment for Pennsylvania, and for our nation," said Gov. Wolf. "Thank you to the Biden Administration for their steadfast leadership and for their commitment to Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Strong infrastructure is critical to the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians, especially strong, safe bridges. Bridges are the lifelines that connect our communities to one another, while modern, reliable infrastructure is essential for Pennsylvania-based businesses to expand."
This initiative marks the largest investment which has ever been made to fix bridges, with all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia receiving $26.5 billion over the five years of the law. An additional $825 million will be spent on Tribal transportation facilities.
The Bridge Funding Program is intended to contribute to the restoration of about 15,000 bridges across the country. Pennsylvania as a crossroads for many transportation networks is a key part of the puzzle.
The Bridge Formula Program has dedicated funding for Tribal transportation facility bridges as well as "off-system" bridges, locally-owned facilities that are not on the federal-aid highway system, in addition to providing funds to states to replace, rehabilitate, preserve, protect, and build highway bridges.
State governments are normally expected to match federal money with up to 20% state or local investment, the new guideline specify that federal funding can be spent to repair or rehabilitate such locally owned off-system bridges entirely.
"The Biden-Harris Administration is thrilled to launch this program to fix thousands of bridges across the country – the largest investment of its kind in U.S. history," said DOT Secretary Buttigieg.
He added, "Modernizing America's bridges will help improve safety, support economic growth and make people's lives better in every part of the country – in rural, suburban, city, and tribal communities."
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act includes a provision that encourages states to send additional Bridge Formula Program funding to off-system bridges managed by counties, cities, towns, or other local governments.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act has been hailed as a once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure that will boost the economy, improve the United States' global competitiveness, generate excellent jobs, and improve the sustainability and equity of our transportation system. It allocates more than $350 billion for surface transportation over five fiscal years to the FHWA.