By KIM JARRETT
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – Hawaii will receive $339 million over the next five years to repair the state’s 84 bridges that are in poor condition, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The money for the Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection, and Construction Program – or Bridge Formula Program – comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden.
The program also designates $825 million over the next five years for the Tribal Transportation Facilities, according to information on the DOT’s website.
Hawaii will receive $67.8 million in fiscal year 2022, according to the DOT. The funding will be split with $57.6 million going toward state bridges and $10.2 million going to bridges owned by a city, town, county or other local agency, also known as off-system bridges. The usual practice of requiring states to provide 20% of federal bridge repair funding for off-system bridges has been waived, and entities can use 100% of federal funds for the projects.
“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 bridges to withstand the effects of climate change and to make them safer for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians.”
The program will allocate $26.5 billion to the the 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia over the next five years and help repair about 15,000 bridges, according to the news release. The Federal Highway Administration will oversee the program, which DOT officials said is the “single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system.”
“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,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.