- The Federal Highway Administration on Wednesday announced the first round of Large Bridge Project Grants from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s competitive Bridge Investment Program.
- The $2.1 billion in new funding will go to repair four nationally significant bridges in California, Connecticut, Illinois and between Kentucky and Ohio, the FHWA announced in a press release. The agency gave priority consideration to shovel-ready projects.
- The IIJA contains nearly $40 billion over five years to update 10 of the country’s most economically important bridges and to repair thousands of other spans.
The IIJA’s Large Bridge Project Grants are available for projects costing more than $100 million. Minimum grant awards are $50 million and maximum grant awards can be up to half of the total eligible project costs. Improvements to these four selected bridges will address significant safety issues and delays in the movement of freight, according to the release.
The bridge projects that landed funding this round are:
Brent Spence Bridge between Kentucky and Ohio
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will receive $1.385 billion to rehabilitate and reconfigure the existing Brent Spence Bridge. The project will separate I-75 traffic from local traffic in an effort to improve interstate and local traffic flow.
The Brent Spence Bridge has the second worst truck bottleneck in the nation and carries more than $400 billion in freight per year. The project includes construction of a new companion bridge immediately west of the existing bridge, and complete reconstruction of 8-mile interstate approach corridors both in Ohio and Kentucky.
Golden Gate Bridge in California
The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District in California will receive $400 million to replace and retrofit critical structural elements on the Golden Gate Bridge to increase resiliency against earthquakes.
An estimated 37 million vehicles cross the bridge per year, including 555,000 freight trucks, as well as waterborne commerce. The improvements will ensure the structural integrity of a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County.
Gold Star Memorial Bridge in Connecticut
The Connecticut DOT will receive $158 million to rehabilitate the northbound structure of the Gold Star Memorial Bridge, which is part of the I-95 corridor over the Thames River between New London and Groton in Connecticut.
The bridge carries five lanes of traffic and 42,600 vehicles per day and is a vital connection for people and goods traveling between New York and New England. The project will address structural repairs, increase load capacity and foster bike-sharing and access to transit.
Four bridges over the Calumet River in Illinois
Chicago will receive $144 million to rehabilitate four movable bridges over the Calumet River on the city’s Southside. The Calumet River connects Lake Michigan with the Lake Calumet Port District, which is further connected to the Illinois River providing access to the Gulf of Mexico.
Each bridge is lifted open an average of 5,000 times per year. Rehabilitating these bridges will allow barge and ship traffic to traverse more easily to the Illinois International Port and beyond. The project will eliminate load restriction and truck detours, add bike lanes and improve sidewalks.