Earlier this month the US Department of Transportation opened up a historic $12.5 billion in bridge funding through the Bridge Investment Program.
Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration opened a call for applications through a Notice of Funding Opportunity for the competitive Bridge Investment Program established by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This program represents the single largest dedicated investment in bridges since the construction of the Interstate highway system. The program will provide $12.5 billion over five years, with nearly $2.4 billion available in Fiscal Year 2022 to help plan, replace, rehabilitate, protect, and preserve some of the nation’s largest bridges. This investment will help ensure that some of the nation’s most important bridges remain operational, support local economies, strengthen our supply chains, improve safety, and create good-paying jobs across the country.
According to the press release:
“With resources from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re thrilled to begin accepting applications for one of the most significant investments in our bridges in decades, fixing everything from America’s most economically significant bridges to smaller bridges that mean everything to a local community,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “When these bridges are repaired, the American people will benefit from greater safety, lower shipping costs for consumers and maintenance costs for drivers, faster movement of goods across our supply chains, fuel savings, and precious time being returned to their day.”
The Bridge Investment Program is a competitive, discretionary program that focuses on the repair, rehabilitation, or replacement of existing bridges across the country to reduce the overall number of those bridges either in poor condition, or in fair condition at risk of declining into poor condition. It also expands applicant eligibilities to create opportunity for all levels of government to be direct recipients of program funds. In addition to states and federal lands management agencies, metropolitan planning organizations and local and tribal governments can also apply directly to FHWA, making it easier to advance bridge projects at the local level.
Bridge Investment Program funding is unique in three key areas because it:
- Allows multi-year grant agreements to fund large projects by making it possible to take a project through pre-construction activities and into construction.
- Offers grants that help fund the planning process, including planning, feasibility analysis and revenue forecasting associated with the development of a project that would subsequently be eligible to apply for the Bridge Investment Program.
- Offers two types of construction grants, covering “large” projects over $100 million and “bridge projects” at up to $100 million.
The FHWA plans to conduct extensive community outreach and public engagement throughout the application process that will include a Zoom Webinar. Technical assistance is also available to recipients who receive Bridge Investment Program grants.