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Source : Unsplash
March 2, 2023
Author : Alex Bustillos
San Fransico’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge struck gold, thanks to the massive funding that it received during the closing week of 2022.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced $400 million to California for the seismic retrofit of the Golden Gate Bridge and to reduce traffic congestion on it. The funding came from the 2021 Biden-Harris Administration's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, where $1.2 trillion in funding was passed for infrastructural improvements.
The $400 million grant comes under the Large Bridge Project Grants of the Bridge Investment Program (BIP), where grants are available for bridges with a total project cost above $100 million. The minimum grant award is $50 million to such projects, and the maximum award is 50% of the total eligible project cost. During the selection process, priority was given to bridges that were ready to proceed to construction and those looking for the benefits of pre-construction funding from a multi-year grant agreement.
The Bridge Investment Program will replace, upgrade, and install critical structural elements on the bridge to improve resiliency to withstand a maximum credible event like a catastrophic earthquake. This 90-year-old bridge is one of the four bridges selected in the first funding round based on the overall cultural significance and contributions to national and regional economies.
The bridge serves as a critical transportation link in the bay area, with an estimated 37 million vehicles crossing over it annually.
This project will work on the congestion and safety issues for communities in Northern California. It aims to make structural retrofits to ensure the Golden Gate Bridge can continue to support critical freight and commuter traffic.
Denis Mulligan, general manager of the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, said, "We are thrilled and grateful for this historic investment to ensure that the Golden Gate Bridge stands stronger than ever."
According to Mitch Landrieu, a senior advisor to the president and White House infrastructure coordinator, strong national security and economic security depend on the country's strong infrastructure. He said that grants allotted to bridges would strengthen the construction industry and guarantee people move safely during natural disasters.
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said, "Modernizing our state's transportation infrastructure - incentivizing electric vehicles, improving transit hubs, deploying zero-emission buses, and safeguarding our roads and bridges is a critical part of keeping our economic growth, and I am proud to have worked with Sen. (Alex) Padilla (D-CA) to secure the vital grant."
Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Transportation Secretary, said that the safe, modern bridges would ensure first responders get on calls quickly, and shipment reaches clients on time. He added, " The Biden-Harris Administration is proud to award this historic funding to modernize large bridges that are not only pillars of our economy but also iconic symbols of their states' past and future."