Environment and Energy

Biden Admin Slates $2.1B for Four US Bridges, More To Come

The Biden administration has announced $2.1 billion in funding for four nationally significant bridges in the US.

construction2This is the first round of funding from the Large Bridge Project Grants from President Biden’s competitive Bridge Investment Program, part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will receive $1.385 billion to rehabilitate and reconfigure the existing Brent Spence Bridge, which connects Covington, Ky., and Cincinnati.

In northern California, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District in California will get $400 million to replace, retrofit, and install critical structural elements on the Golden Gate Bridge to increase resiliency against earthquakes.

On the East Coast, the Connecticut Department of Transportation will receive $158 million to rehabilitate the northbound structure of the Gold Star Memorial Bridge, part of the Interstate 95 corridor over the Thames River between New London and Groton, Ct.

Finally, the City of Chicago will be awarded $144 million to rehabilitate four bridges over the Calumet River on the South Side of the city.

Large Bridge Project Grants follow $5.3 billion in FY2023 Bridge Formula Funding, the administration said in a release. Approximately $40 billion is planned over five years to help repair or rebuild 10 of the most economically significant bridges, along with thousands of other bridges across the country.

“Safe, modern bridges ensure that first responders can get to calls more quickly, shipments reach businesses on time, and drivers can get to where they need to go,” US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.

Bridges require heavy use of steel, often involving plate products, with even concrete bridges requiring the intensive use of rebar. 

Steel trade associations praised the move by the Biden administration.

“The SMA is glad to see money flowing from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA),” Philip Bell, president of the Steel Manufacturers of America (SMA), told SMU. He lauded the decision “because it focuses on traditional, steel-intensive infrastructure projects such as bridges and roads.”

Bell added that this only the beginning, noting: “The National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA) has identified at least 10 critical bridge projects that should be funded now.” 

Likewise, Kevin Dempsey, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), heaped praise on the decision. 

“President Biden’s announcement this week of grants to upgrade four of the nation’s most economically significant bridges will positively impact the American steel industry and continue to enhance our national infrastructure,” he told SMU. “It will create demand for key steel products, boost the economy and enhance America’s competitiveness.”

He noted that the structural steel in a bridge can weigh from less than a hundred tons to nearly 100,000 tons, depending on its size.

“American steel mills and fabricators have the capacity to meet the current demand for steel and future demand expected from funding allocated through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” he continued. 

By Ethan Bernard, Ethan@SteelMarketUpdate.com

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