Gluesenkamp Perez, Chavez-DeRemer Lead Bipartisan Coalition to Fund Bridge Investment Program

Program Essential to I-5 Bridge Replacement Project Funding Effort

Apr 06, 2023
Press

Last week, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA-03) and Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR-05) led 28 of their colleagues in urging the House Appropriations Committee to fully fund the Federal Highway Administration’s Bridge Investment Program. This program is essential to bridge replacement projects across the country, including the I-5 Bridge Replacement Project connecting Washington state and Oregon.

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that nearly 43,000 bridges are in poor condition, twice as many as there were eight years ago. Additionally, every single Congressional district in the country is home to structurally deficient bridges.

In the letter, the lawmakers emphasize the critical role bridges play in the nation’s transportation infrastructure and request the Committee provide $650 million for the Bridge Investment Program to improve bridge conditions across the nation.

“Southwest Washington knows the impact of relying on a structurally deficient bridge all too well. Commuters are stuck in endless traffic and the narrow lanes are a safety hazard,” said Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez. “Fully funding this program will help us get the funds we need to build the I-5 Bridge Replacement and improve the country’s transportation infrastructure as a whole.”

“Aging and fragile bridges across the country are in desperate need of repair, and that includes the I-5 bridge used by thousands of Oregonians and Washingtonians every day. We need to complete these projects to keep travelers safe and ensure these lanes of economic activity remain open and running smoothly. I’m honored to lead this bipartisan effort alongside Congresswoman Gluesenkamp Perez and will continue advocating for projects that build safe and reliable infrastructure for generations to come,” Rep. Chavez-DeRemer said.

“Making these key investments to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure today will provide outsized benefits for decades to come. We respectfully request that you provide $650 million in funding for the Bridge Investment Program. Funding the Bridge Investment Program at its fully authorized level is a necessary step towards improving the condition of our bridges and the function of our nation’s transportation system,” wrote the lawmakers.

The full letter can be found here and below:

“The Honorable Tom Cole

Chairman

Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, 

Housing and Urban Development, and Related 

Agencies

2358-A Rayburn HOB

Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Mike Quigley

Ranking Member

Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, 

Housing and Urban Development, and Related 

Agencies

2358-A Rayburn HOB

Washington, D.C. 20515 

Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member Quigley:

As you prepare the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, we write to respectfully request the inclusion of $650 million to fully fund the Federal Highway Administration’s Bridge Investment Program. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provided necessary funding for bridge repair, replacement, and improvement, but more funds are needed to address the poor condition of bridges nationwide. 

The IIJA provided critical funding for the Bridge Investment Program with $1.8 billion in advance appropriations, but the state of our nation’s bridges necessitates additional funding. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) estimates that nearly 43,000 bridges are in poor condition, twice as many as there were eight years ago. These deficient bridges are in every single congressional district in the nation. The backlog for bridge repairs stands at a stunning $125 billion. To address this challenge, the FHWA estimates an additional $8.3 billion is needed each year. 

Bridges are a vital piece of our transportation infrastructure, allowing goods and people to move quickly, reliably, and safely to destinations and markets. From early-stage planning grants to Large Bridge Project grants, the FHWA has proven effective at managing IIJA funds. They have developed a pipeline of projects from the earliest stages through construction, ensuring that deficient bridges are repaired and replaced in a timely manner. Making these key investments to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure today will provide outsized benefits for decades to come. 

We respectfully request that you provide $650 million in funding for the Bridge Investment Program. Funding the Bridge Investment Program at its fully authorized level is a necessary step towards improving the condition of our bridges and the function of our nation’s transportation system. 

Sincerely”

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