Standing besides the U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf publicized the start of the largest bridge formula initiative in American history. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law promises that Pa. will receive $1.6 billion to repair and rebuild over 3,000 bridges throughout the commonwealth — including bridges in Chester County and Delaware County. In fiscal year 2022, Pa. will attain over $327 million dollars of government funding for bridge reparation.
With 3,353 Pa. bridges in poor condition, Pa. is nationally ranked as the second state with the highest quantity of bridges in substandard condition. Gradual deterioration of Pa. bridges presents safety risks to community members and vehicles. With the impacts of climate change, leaders have advocated for the modernization of bridges to withstand a variety of weather conditions over a long period of time.The implementation of this initiative is expected to allow businesses to expand and communities to connect while prioritizing the safety of all people. “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,” Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack explained.
On a national level, the Bridge Funding Program is expected to restore a total of roughly 15,000 bridges. This program has also been dedicated to provide funding for Tribal transportation facility bridges and “off-system” bridges. “Off-system” bridges include facilities that are locally owned and not a part of the federal-aid highway system. Although states usually match federal funding with a minimum of 20 percent state or local funding, the implementation of this law explains that federal funds can be utilized for 100 percent of the rehabilitation and reparation of these locally owned “off-system” bridges.
“Strong infrastructure is critical to the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians, especially strong, safe bridges,” Gov. Wolf stated.
Sources: Chester County Press, Delaware Valley Journal