WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) and Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) recently introduced the bipartisan Fixing America’s Bridges Act, which reestablishes a federal funding program to help repair and replace structurally deficient bridges across the United States.
The Fixing America’s Bridges Act would restore the Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program. The program would help states repair or replace bridges that are found to be in “poor condition” by the Federal Highway Administration. The new program would institute a 90% federal share for all projects including both Federal-aid highway bridges and locally-owned, off-system bridges.
“Investing in safe and reliable infrastructure promotes economic growth and benefits our communities. This certainly includes America’s bridges,” said Congressman Higgins. “Our legislation expands federal infrastructure resources and prioritizes bridge replacement based on structural integrity. Reestablishing the Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program would greatly benefit many bridges in Louisiana, including the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge. I want to thank Congresswoman Finkenauer for leading this bipartisan effort.”
“Having visited many of our local structurally deficient bridges, I know first-hand how big of an impact we can make by securing much-needed help for our communities,” said Congresswoman Finkenauer. “Our local engineers and communities are sending us a clear message they need help, and we can do that while making our infrastructure safer and supporting good-paying American jobs. I thank Congressman Higgins for partnering with me as we deliver critical aid to our communities that desperately need their bridges to be fixed.”
The Fixing America’s Bridges Act is supported by the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, National Association of Counties, National Association of County Engineers, North America’s Building Trades Unions, and Soy Transportation Coalition.
Support for the Fixing America’s Bridges Act:
“Everyday we deal with traffic congestion and safety issues from our outdated bridge on Interstate 10 over the Calcasieu River at Lake Charles. We commend Congressman Higgins and Congresswoman Finkenauer for working together to push this legislation,” said George Swift, President/CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “Congressman Higgins knows first-hand about our need for this bridge to be replaced. This is our most critical issue here in Southwest Louisiana, and we urge passage of the Fixing America’s Bridges Act.”
“Counties maintain nearly 40% of the nation’s bridge inventory, and the nation’s County Engineers are tasked with ensuring the safety of this vital transportation infrastructure every day,” said National Association of County Engineers Executive Director Kevan Stone. “Millions of Americans depend on bridges to bring them to work and school each day while also bringing goods to market, and Congresswoman Finkenauer and Congressman Higgins realize the challenges and costs faced to maintain them. We commend their efforts to bring additional resources to keep them in a state of good repair through the reinstatement of the Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program.”
“Counties own and operate four out of every 10 bridges, connecting people and places and helping communities across America thrive,” said National Association of Counties Executive Director Matthew Chase. “To address the bridge maintenance backlog, we need reliable federal and state partners. Increasing investments in locally-owned bridges and reducing the local match requirement will give counties additional resources to strengthen our nation’s transportation network. We thank Representatives Finkenauer and Higgins for their efforts to address this important infrastructure issue.”
“The temptation is for our nation to concentrate attention and resources toward the transportation needs of urban America at the expense of the needs of rural America. We must be attentive to both,” said Mike Steenhoek, Executive Director of the Soy Transportation Coalition. “We commend Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer and Congressman Clay Higgins for introducing bipartisan legislation that will provide tangible benefit to our nation’s farmers and other rural residents who depend upon a safe, reliable, and accessible transportation system.”