Office of Rep. Derek Kilmer announcement.
On Jan. 14, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) announced the first round of investments in repairing Washington bridges under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Law that he helped pass. Through the historic Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection, and Construction Program (Bridge Formula Program), Rep. Kilmer helped deliver $121 million to fix bridges in Washington this year in Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22), part of a total of $605.1 million investment over the next five years.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 416 bridges in Washington are currently considered to be in “poor” condition. The investment announced today is designed to help Washington repair or replace the local bridges that are critical for getting to school and work, moving commerce, and connecting communities – while creating good-paying jobs.
Bridges across Washington’s sixth congressional district have previously been identified as prime candidates for federal investment through preservation and maintenance work, including: the US 101 bridge over the Sol Duc River in Clallam County, the US 101 bridge over the Humptulips River and both Satsop River bridges on US 12 in Grays Harbor County, the US 101 bridge over Big Quilcene River and the SR 116 bridge over Portage Canal in Jefferson County, the Port Washington bridge on SR 303 in Kitsap County, and the US 101 bridge over the Skokomish River in Mason County.
“Across our region and across our nation, bridges essential to our everyday lives and to our economy have reached dire conditions. That’s why I helped pass the bipartisan infrastructure law – which will make a historic investment in repairing and replacing bridges in our neck of the woods,” said Rep. Kilmer. “Repairing our bridges will not only keep folks safe and keep people and commerce moving efficiently, but create good-paying jobs right here in Washington. It’s a big deal.”
“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,” said 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,” said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “It will also modernize them 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.”
The Bridge Formula Program, to be administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), represents the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system – providing $26.5 billion to states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico over the five years of the law and $825 million for Tribal transportation facilities.
Nationwide, the Bridge Formula Program is expected to help repair approximately 15,000 bridges. In addition to providing funds to states to replace, rehabilitate, preserve, protect, and construct highway bridges, the Bridge Formula Program has dedicated funding for Tribal transportation facility bridges ($165 million for FY22 and $825 million over five years), as well as “off-system” bridges, locally owned facilities which are those not on the federal-aid highway system.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes an incentive for states to direct the new Bridge Formula Program funds to off-system bridges owned by a county, city, town or other local agency. While states normally must match federal funding with up to 20 percent state or local funding, the guidance issued today notes that federal funds can be used for 100 percent of the cost of repairing or rehabilitating such locally owned off-system bridges.
Washington can also compete for the $12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program for economically significant bridges and $15 billion of national funding in the law that is dedicated to megaprojects that will deliver substantial economic benefits to communities. Details on those programs will be announced at a later date.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure, which will grow the economy, enhance U.S. competitiveness in the world, create good jobs, and make our transportation system more sustainable and equitable. Specific to the FHWA, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides more than $350 billion over five fiscal years for surface transportation programs.