Above: The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District in California will receive funding to replace, retrofit and install critical structural elements on the Golden Gate Bridge to increase resiliency against earthquakes
The four bridges, which are all classed as ‘nationally significant’, have been chosen to receive the first round of Large Bridge Project Grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s competitive Bridge Investment Program. This scheme will allocate nearly US$40 billion over five years to help repair or rebuild 10 of the most economically significant bridges in the country along with thousands of other bridges.
The first round of grants will fund construction for four projects that connect communities in five states.
“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,” said US transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The Biden-Harris Administration is proud to award this historic funding to modernise large bridges that are not only pillars of our economy, but also iconic symbols of their states’ past and future.”
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will receive US$1.385 billion to rehabilitate and reconfigure the existing Brent Spence Bridge to improve interstate and local traffic flow between the Kentucky and Ohio communities on either side of the Ohio River. The current bridge is regarded as the second-worst truck bottleneck in the nation and carries more than US$400 billion in freight per year. The project includes construction of a new companion bridge immediately west of the existing bridge to accommodate interstate through traffic on two bridge decks, and complete reconstruction of eight-mile interstate approach corridors both in Ohio and Kentucky, replacing 54 additional bridges.
The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District in California will receive US$400 million to replace, retrofit and install critical structural elements on the Golden Gate Bridge to increase resiliency against earthquakes. The Golden Gate Bridge is crossed by an estimated 37 million vehicles crossing the bridge per year, including 555,000 freight trucks.
Connecticut Department of Transportation will receive US$158 million to rehabilitate the northbound structure of the Gold Star Memorial Bridge, which is part of the Interstate 95 corridor over the Thames River between New London and Groton, Connecticut. The bridge carries five lanes of traffic and 42,600 vehicles per day and is part of the I-95 corridor for people and goods travelling between New York and New England. The rehabilitation will address structural repairs, increase load capacity and eliminate a load restriction for overweight vehicles. In addition, the project will add a new multi-use path.
The city of Chicago in Illinois will receive US$144 million to rehabilitate four bridges over the Calumet River on the Southside of Chicago. Each bridge lifts an average of 5,000 times per year, providing access for marine traffic to and from the Lake Calumet Port District and surrounding industry. The project will eliminate a load restriction and truck detours. It will also add dedicated bike lanes and improved footpaths.
In addition to the four main grants, the Federal Highway Administration announced an additional bridge planning grant to the US Army Corps of Engineers in the amount of US$1.6 million to advance planning work in support of replacement of the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges over the Cape Cod Canal.