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Top 10 states that won Biden’s bridge-fixing windfall

California tops list with 16% of $27 billion payout aimed at fixing 15,000 bridges nationwide

"Off-system" bridges getting dedicated funding. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

California will take home the biggest share of the $27 billion federal bridge repair and replace program, the first highway infrastructure funding package to be rolled out under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

StateFive-year funding
New York$1,892,071,670
New Jersey$1,147,100,410
Top 10 total$14,165,140,915
Source: Federal Highway Administration

The $4.25 billion going to California ranks first among allocations announced Friday for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to help fix an estimated 15,000 bridges across the country.

California’s share is 16% of the bridge program’s total funding, which is allocated over five years. The 10 states receiving the highest funding levels represent just over half of the total Bridge Formula Program (see table). The complete allocation table can be accessed on the Federal Highway Administration’s website.

“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.”

In addition to providing funds to states to replace, rehabilitate, preserve, protect and construct highway bridges, the Bridge Formula Program has dedicated funding for bridges owned by tribal governments as well as “off-system” bridges that are generally locally owned and not on the federal-aid highway system.

The record amount of funding “will also modernize bridges to withstand the effects of climate change and to make them safer for all users,” said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “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.”

While states generally must match federal funding with up to 20% state or local funding, guidance issued for the Bridge Formula Program notes that federal funds can be used for 100% of the cost of repairing or rehabilitating such locally owned off-system bridges.

“This investment in modernizing America’s bridges is a critical next step following the passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce commented. “We have been waiting decades for this kind of investment to fix our crumbling bridges.”

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John Gallagher

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.