New Bill to Repair and Update NY’s Bridges and Create Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Recently, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) introduced the Bridge Investment Act, a bipartisan bill that will invest $20 billion into repairing America’s 47,000 structurally-deficient bridges, streamline the bridge repair process with a competitive grant program, and create meaningful, good-paying jobs in communities across New York and the country.

“Fixing New York’s bridges and roads has been a priority of mine since day one, and I’m proud to continue that commitment by introducing a strong, bipartisan bill that will reinvest billions into repairing our failing bridges and create good-paying, meaningful jobs,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. “Families across the Hudson Valley deserve to know the bridges they travel over every day are safe and secure.”

According to American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) 2019 Bridge Report, 1,757 of New York’s bridges are considered “structurally-deficient” and are in poor (or worse) condition. All but one of New York’s 17,521 bridges have been identified as being in need of repairs by the state. ARTBA reported that in New York’s 18th Congressional District alone over 170 bridges – more than one-in-ten of the bridges in the district – were classified as structurally deficient.

The Bridge Investment Act was introduced with Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Garret Graves (R-LA), and Darin LaHood (R-IL). Bipartisan companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

Reps. Maloney serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and is the Chairman of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has jurisdiction over America’s highways, railways, airports, seaports, bus lines, and pipelines, as well as the Economic Development Administration (EDA), Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Background on the Bridge Investment Act:
The United States has approximately 47,000 structurally-deficient bridges: bridges that need significant repairs or replacement to address structural elements that are in poor condition. Many more bridges have outdated designs that contribute to accidents and traffic congestion.

The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates there is a $123.1 billion bridge repair backlog, including $17.3 billion worth of needed repairs and improvements to rural and local bridges located off the federal-aid highway network. Despite the need, there is no federal program that directs funding specifically to bridge repair and rehabilitation projects.

The Bridge Investment Act will:

* Invest $20 billion over 5 years in bridge repairs that would be leveraged by state and local contributions, resulting in up to $40 billion of projects.

* Create a competitive grant program to rehabilitate, improve or replace bridges of all sizes, including local and rural bridges located off the National Highway System.

* Supplement new federal formula funding in an infrastructure package with the $20 billion to address the bridge repair backlog.

* Establish a non-partisan, standardized evaluation process for proposed projects and expected benefits, ensuring fair funding for projects across the country – regardless of project size.

* Enable states and local governments with transportation function, Federal land management agencies, and Indian tribes to apply for the grants.

* Streamline repairs of medium and small projects by bundling into a single application.

* Allow large projects to receive multi-year grant agreements.

* Create American jobs by requiring compliance with Davis-Bacon, “Buy America” and other standard requirements for federal-aid highway projects.

The Bridge Investment Act is supported by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the International Union of Operating Engineers, the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, the American Roads & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), and the Associated General Contractors of America.

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