Recently introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate that would provide $75 billion over a decade into a new competitive grant program for repairing the nation’s structurally deficient bridges has received overwhelming support from groups representing road builders and civil engineers.
The Bridge Investment Act, introduced Jan. 4 in the Senate, would authorize much-needed resources to improve the safety and performance of America’s either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridges. According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), the designation applies to 23% of the U.S. bridge network.
ARTBA is among several national organizations that have sent letters supporting the Bridge Investment Act. The senators introducing the legislation said the act would ensure that a bipartisan infrastructure package could address the national bridge repair backlog if it is added to such a package. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates the United States has a $123 billion bridge repair backlog, including $17 billion in needed improvements to rural and local bridges.
ASCE also sent letters supporting the Bridge Investment Act noting that it would address the needs of the country’s bridges and make the nation stronger and safer. ASCE had graded U.S. bridges a C+ in its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card and noted many were nearing the end of their design life.
In addition to the ARTBA and ASCE letters of support, support letters were received from the International Union of Operating Engineers, the National League of Cities, North America’s Building Trades Union, the Associated General Contractors of America, and the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO.
Source: Transportation Today