$24m in Federal Funds go to San Diego's Palm Avenue Bridge

The bridge is located in Otay Mesa, just north of Tijuana and is part of the U.S.-Mexico Port of Entry.

Source : Wikimedia Commons

April 26, 2023

Author : Bidhanee Islam

On April 13, 2023, the Federal Highway Administration of the US Department Of Transportation (USDOT) announced funding announcements for nine small and medium-sized bridge projects in both urban and rural settings throughout eight states totalling over $300 million.

One of the bridges being given these grants is the Palm Avenue Bridge in Otay Mesa. $24 million is being set aside for the bridge as part of the federal Infrastructure Law’s Bridge Investment Program. The grants are being issued for bridge modernization. Material for bridge construction has improved over the decades, and California with a growing population has congested roadways, not to mention the state faces the danger of earthquakes.

The improvements should decrease the amount of traffic delays, while increasing freight transport. They also reduce the long-term  maintenance costs. It is estimated that this route will generate $30 million worth in benefits per year because of the reduced congestion and traffic delays faced by over 38,000 vehicles every day.

A number of improvements will be made to the nearly 50-year-old overpass, including new walkways, bike lanes, and bus stop landings. Among other changes, there will be realignment of the freeway ramps, with the goal of making the bridge structurally sound and more accessible.  

The $24 million grant will not only be used for the bridge however, it will also be utilized to improve the surrounding areas. Ensuring that all of San Diego’s infrastructure meets the needs of its residents, addressing delays that currently cost American families money.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is investing in this bridge rehabilitation project because it will facilitate commerce and improve mobility in the San Diego area, including for pedestrians and cyclists,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt.

“Over the next five years, the Bridge Investment Program will work to repair, replace, and rehabilitate structures that allow businesses to move their goods to market while helping people get to jobs, schools, doctors, and other vital destinations. This project is an investment in both the United States’ economic growth and in the safety and long-term resilience of the communities that make this country great.”

This project adds to other projects already improving bridges in California. All together this will improve the infrastructure, making it more accessible to local communities and help allow trucks, bikes and ambulances to smoothly cross over.

“When bridges have to close for repairs — or worse, begin to fail — it can cut off access to an entire community, adding hours to commutes, costing money for local businesses, and delaying first responders from getting to an emergency,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. 

“The grant awards we’re announcing today are helping communities of all sizes modernize their bridges so that school buses, delivery trucks, ambulances, and commuters can get where they need to go quickly and safely.”

Caltrans (California’s Department of Transportation) is going to play a big part in repairing and making changes to the bridge.

“Our mission at Caltrans is to ensure that we are serving and meeting the community’s transportation needs via a safe and multi-modal state system,” said Caltrans District 11 Director Gustavo Dallarda. “Once complete, this bridge project will give people and goods more options to get where they need to go and how they want to get there. The grant ensures that a bridge from the past continues to serve the users of today and future generations and maintains the integrity of our infrastructure needs.”

For the Federal Fiscal Years 2022-2024, Caltrans has set a DBE goal of 22.2% under the Federal Highway Administration Program (FHWA). This will help integrate small businesses from historically marginalized communities into state procurement and construction projects.  18.3% race-gender conscious and 3.9% race-gender neutral measures are projected to be used to attain the goal. The Federal Transit Administration DBE goal for the FFYs 2023–2025 is 6.3%, according to CalTrans. It is anticipated that 0.6% of race-gender neutral measures and 5.7% of race-gender conscious measures will be used to meet the FTA DBE target.


Category : Department of Transportation Federal Government Investment in Infrastructure Bridges

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