Pennsylvania receiving $1.6B in federal infrastructure funding for bridge repair

Stacy Wescoe//January 14, 2022

Pennsylvania receiving $1.6B in federal infrastructure funding for bridge repair

Stacy Wescoe//January 14, 2022

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was in Pennsylvania Friday to announce that the state is set to receive $1.6 million in federal funding towards bridge repair projects. 

The funding comes from the recent passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. It will help fix more than 3,000 bridges in the state. 

“This is a historic investment for Pennsylvania, and for our nation,” said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. “Strong infrastructure is critical to the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians, especially strong, safe bridges. Bridges are the lifelines that connect our communities to one another, while modern, reliable infrastructure is essential for Pennsylvania-based businesses to expand.”

The program represents the largest investment ever made in fixing bridges, he said. 

Pennsylvania is poised to receive an estimated total $4 billion in new federal highway and bridge dollars over five years, including the $1.6 billion from a new bridge program established by the Bipartisan 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 Pennsylvania 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.” 

He said 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. 

All totaled, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law program is dedicating $26.5 billion to states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico over the five years of the law and $825 million for Tribal transportation facilities.  

The amount that will be available to states in Fiscal Year 2022 is $5.3 billion along with the $165 million for tribes.  

“Modernizing America’s bridges will help improve safety, support economic growth and make people’s lives better in every part of the country – in rural, suburban, city, and tribal communities,” said Sec. Buttigieg. 

Nationwide, the Bridge Funding Program is expected to help repair approximately 15,000 bridges. In addition to providing funds to states to replace, rehabilitate, preserve, protect, and construct highway bridges, the Bridge Formula Program has dedicated funding for Tribal transportation facility bridges as well as “off-system” bridges, locally owned facilities which are those not on the federal-aid highway system. 

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% state or local funding, the guidance issued today notes that federal funds can be used for 100% of the cost of repairing or rehabilitating such locally owned off-system bridges.