Biden Launches Bridge Repair and Replacement Initiative

At least 15,000 bridges may be improved

The Biden Administration has announced, on Jan. 14, 2022, an initiative to repair or replace decaying bridges across the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Native American tribal lands. Funding will come from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that President Biden signed into law in November 2021.

Costing more than $27.3 billion, the five-year program is slated to improve about 15,000 highway bridges, in addition to various bridges that are not part of the federal highway system. In the U.S. federal government's fiscal year 2022, which ends on Sept. 30, 2022, the program is expected to spend nearly $5.5 billion. "This represents the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the interstate highway system," a senior Biden Administration official told CNN.

Key Takeaways

  • The Biden Administration is rolling out a five-year $27.3 billion plan to repair or replace about 15,000 bridges.
  • Funding is from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed in November 2021.
  • Funds will be distributed to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Native American tribal lands.

The Bridge Problem

According to the 2021 National Bridge Inventory compiled by the Federal Highway Administration, more than 43,000 bridges across the U.S. are in poor condition. Meanwhile, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the infrastructure system in the U.S. an overall score of C- in 2021.

The Bridge Repair and Replace Program

The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill included $550 billion for investments in areas such as roads, bridges, airports, mass transit, waterways, and energy systems. Funds for the bridge repair and replacement program will be distributed to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Native American tribal lands.

Proponents of spending to upgrade the nation's infrastructure argue that doing so will facilitate moving goods and people across the country more efficiently and may help to prevent a future supply chain crisis. "It is a once-in-a-generation investment that will grow the economy, enhance the competitiveness in the world, create good jobs and make our transportation more sustainable and equitable," according to the senior Biden Administration official quoted above.

Related Spending Initiatives

Meanwhile, the Biden Administration also is rolling out plans to build 500,000 charging stations for electric vehicles. The U.S. Department of Transportation is distributing $56 billion to improve highways, airports, and shipping ports.

Article Sources
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  1. U.S. News. "Biden Administration Launches Program to Fix 15,000 Bridges."

  2. CNN. "White House Announces New Program to Repair and Replace Bridges."