Lycoming County bridge replacements.jpg

A bridge restored as part of Lycoming County's Bridge Bundling Program.

With the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Pennsylvania is set to receive $1.6 billion to fix more than 3,000 bridges across the Commonwealth.

“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,” Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack said.

“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,” she added.

Nationwide, the Bridge Funding Program is expected to help repair approximately 15,000 bridges. 

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.

Of the $1.6 billion dollar sum, $327.2 million will be dedicated to fixing bridges in Pennsylvania for fiscal year 2022, according to an announcement by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). 

Pennsylvania has 3,353 bridges in poor condition, making Pennsylvania the state with the second highest number of bridges in poor condition in the country, according to Casey.

“For a long time, Pennsylvanians have had to make do with driving over thousands of bridges in poor condition. Now, I am proud to say that this year alone, hundreds of millions of dollars will go towards repairing and upgrading those bridges, which are so vital to the Commonwealth. This investment will better connect communities, stimulate job growth across Pennsylvania and make commutes to work and school much safer. Thanks to the Infrastructure Law, we can expect billions of dollars more that will strengthen our communities and our economy,” said Senator Casey.

Members of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) also commented on the recent funding through the Infrastructure Law.  

“The passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is the largest federal infrastructure investment in decades, and the largest ever investment for bridges specifically,” said Acting Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Mike Keiser. “PennDOT – along with our partners – are ready to put these dollars to good use in meaningful projects all over the state.”

Pennsylvania has one of the largest state-maintained highway and bridge networks in the nation, with nearly 40,000 miles of roadway and over 25,400 bridges maintained by PennDOT. That number grows to approximately 120,000 miles of roadway and 32,000 bridges when considering the state and local networks. 

In addition to the new highway and bridge funds, Pennsylvanians will benefit from new federal funds to support public transportation, airports, and freight and passenger rail. 

New federal funds are also expected to support the expansion of an electric vehicle (EV) charging network in Pennsylvania.

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This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.