Massachusetts is receiving $1.12 billion to replace and rebuild troubled bridges as part of a federal infrastructure program.
The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation's recently launched historic Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection, and Construction Program, which is part of President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The money will help improve the condition of about 455 bridges in poor condition and to preserve and improve about 3,465 bridges in fair condition in the Bay State. Nationwide, the Bridge Formula Program is expected to help repair approximately 15,000 bridges.
“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,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “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.”
The program will provide $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.
States generally must match federal funding with up to 20% state or local funding, but the guidance issued Friday notes that federal funds can be used for 100% of the cost of repairing or rehabilitating locally owned off-system bridges.
“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 said. “It will also modernize bridges to withstand the effects of climate change and to make them safer for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians. Every state has bridges in poor condition and in need of repair, including bridges with weight restrictions that may force lengthy detours for travelers, school buses, first responders or trucks carrying freight,” she added.
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, locally owned facilities which are those not on the federal-aid highway system.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes an incentive for states to direct the new Bridge Formula Program funds to off-system bridges owned by a county, city, town or other local agency. Specific to the FHWA, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides more than $350 billion over five fiscal years for surface transportation programs.