WASHINGTON — The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023, that it has opened applications for $9.7 billion in multi-year funding.
The federal funds, which were initially announced in September, are designed to improve the nation’s bridges through the competitive Bridge Investment Program’s “Planning” and “Bridge Project” categories, which fund bridge planning, repair and replacement projects under $100 million.
The Biden administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which established the Bridge Investment Program, invests a total of $40 billion over five years to help ensure that some of the nation’s most important bridges remain safe and operational, meet current and future traveler needs, support local economies, strengthen supply chains and create good-paying jobs across the country.
“When a bridge closes, it costs Americans time and money, disrupts supply chains across the region and sometimes cuts off entire communities from vital resources,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Thanks to President Biden, we are making the largest investment in America’s bridges since the construction of the Interstate system, and these grants will help repair bridges in communities of all sizes, so we can get people and goods safely to where they need to be.”
According to a Dec. 20 statement from the FHWA, the BIL has already funded more than 7,000 bridge projects.
The Bridge Investment Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is soliciting applications for the following categories of projects:
- “Planning” grants for planning, feasibility analyses, and revenue forecasting associated with the development of a project; and,
- “Bridge Project” grants for bridge replacement, rehabilitation, preservation, and protection projects with total eligible costs of $100 million or less.
In accordance with the BIL, a grant application for a project located in a state that has not received one large bridge project grant or two bridge project grants from previous rounds of awards will be given priority over grant recipients that have already received funding.
“With the funding we’re announcing today from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, communities can plan and implement bridge projects that will improve safety and mobility for people in rural regions, urban areas and places in between,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “The Bridge Investment Program has already funded nearly 40 bridge projects nationwide and this funding will help communities continue to plan and advance important bridge projects in the years ahead.”
The Dec. 20 announcement builds on other Bridge Investment Program funding opportunities made possible under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including one for large bridge projects (greater than $100 million) announced in September. In fiscal year 2022, the Bridge Investment Program invested $2.4 billion in the planning and construction of 37 bridges in 29 states across the U.S.
The NOFO provides available funding for fiscal years 2023-2026. It also includes updated merit criteria to provide more direction for bridge project applicants, in addition to updated application templates for applicants to use in providing project information.
The FHWA plans to conduct outreach regarding the Bridge Investment Program Planning and Bridge Project grants via a recorded webinar that will be available on the FHWA website. Technical assistance is also available to recipients who receive Bridge Investment Program grants.
This NOFO is available on the FHWA’s Bridge Investment program web page.
Linda Garner-Bunch has been in publishing for more than 30 years. You name it, Linda has written about it. She has served as an editor for a group of national do-it-yourself publications and has coordinated the real estate section of Arkansas’ only statewide newspaper, in addition to working on a variety of niche publications ranging from bridal magazines to high-school sports previews and everything in between. She is also an experienced photographer and copy editor who enjoys telling the stories of the “Knights of the Highway,” as she calls our nation’s truck drivers.