On Jan. 4 President Joe Biden took a trip to Kentucky to visit the tattered Brent Spencer Bridge. The goal was for the administration to highlight the bipartisanship infrastructure law.
During this visit, the Federal Highway Administration also announced $2.1 billion in first-round grants to repair economically significant bridges.
“I believe it sends an important message, an important message to the entire country,” Biden said according to the Associated Press. “We can work together. We can get things done. We can move the nation forward, but just drop a little bit of our egos and focus on what is needed in the country.”
According to the administration, the plan is to make $40 billion available in the future for thousands of other bridges across the nation.
“These first large-bridge grants will improve bridges that serve as vital connections for millions of Americans to jobs, education, health care and medical care, and help move goods from our farms and factories,” Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg said. “And over the next four years, we will be able to fund construction for the pipeline of shovel-ready projects we are creating through Bridge Planning Grants.”
“Safe, modern bridges ensure that first responders can get to calls more quickly, shipments reach businesses on time and drivers can get to where they need to go,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg added.
Large Bridge Project Grant Recipients
- The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will receive $1.385 billion to reconfigure the Brent Spence Bridge to improve interstate and local traffic flow between Kentucky and Ohio communities on either side of the Ohio River. Officials said the current bridge is the second-worst truck bottleneck in the nation and carries more than $400 billion in freight per year.
- The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District in California will receive $400 million to replace, retrofit, and install critical structural elements on the Golden Gate Bridge to increase stability against earthquakes.
- The Connecticut Department of Transportation 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, Conn.
- Chicago will receive $144 million to rehabilitate four bridges over the Calumet River on the south side of Chicago. 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.
“The grants will fund construction for four projects that connect communities in five states and are vital to the everyday lives of working people and freight travel that supports our national economy,” FHWA said in a statement. “Improvements to the bridges will address significant safety issues for drivers and delays in the movement of freight.”
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