The U.S. Department of Transportation has launched the Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection, and Construction Program (Bridge Formula Program), made possible by the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The program, to be administered by the Federal Highway Administration, represents the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system–providing $26.5 billion to states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico over five years. The total amount that will be available to states, D.C., and Puerto Rico in Fiscal Year 2022 is $5.3 billion. The FHWA also published initial guidance on the new program.
Nationwide, the Bridge Formula Program is expected to help repair approximately 15,000 highway 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, which are generally locally-owned facilities 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 generally must match federal funding with up to 20 percent state or local funding, the guidance issued notes that federal funds can be used for 100 percent of the cost of repairing or rehabilitating such locally owned off-system bridges.