(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Pennsylvania will be receiving more than $300 million in 2022 to fix over 3,000 bridges in need of repair statewide, according to U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA).
The funding is a result of the infrastructure bill that was passed into law in late 2021.
Pennsylvania has 3,353 bridges in poor condition, the second-highest in the country.
Over the next five years, Pennsylvania is expected to receive $4 billion in new federal highway and bridge dollars, including $1.6 billion from a new bridge program established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, according to PennDOT.
“The passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is the largest federal infrastructure investment in decades, and the largest ever investment for bridges specifically,” stated Acting Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Mike Keiser. “PennDOT – along with our partners – are ready to put these dollars to good use in meaningful projects all over the state.”
Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the launch of the historic Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection, and Construction Program (Bridge Formula Program), made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The program, administered by the Federal Highway Administration, represents the largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system.
It 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 2022 will be $5.3 billion, along with $165 million for tribes.
“For a long time, Pennsylvanians have had to make do with driving over thousands of bridges in poor condition. Now, I am proud to say that this year alone, hundreds of millions of dollars will go towards repairing and upgrading those bridges, which are so vital to the Commonwealth. This investment will better connect communities, stimulate job growth across Pennsylvania and make commutes to work and school much safer. Thanks to the Infrastructure Law, we can expect billions of dollars more that will strengthen our communities and our economy,” stated Senator Casey.
Nationwide, the Bridge Formula Program is expected to help repair 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,” stated U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “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.”
“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 stated. “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.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Acting Deputy Secretary Mike Keiser, Acting District 8 Executive Chris Kufro, Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Recreation and Conservation Manager Lori Yeich, and local and regional officials on Friday highlighted the benefits to Pennsylvania from the passage of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), specifically for Pennsylvania’s bridges.
Pennsylvania has one of the largest state-maintained highway and bridge networks in the nation, with nearly 40,000 miles of roadway and over 25,400 bridges, according to PennDOT.
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“One of the many benefits of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is the impact it will have on multimodal projects that connect people to parks and trails, as this rehabilitation project demonstrates,” stated DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “We have seen millions of people turn to the outdoors during the pandemic, which is why we are pleased to see federal investments in projects that will help retain those new users.”
In addition to the new highway and bridge funds, Pennsylvanians will benefit from new federal funds to support public transportation, airports and freight and passenger rail.