WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDTN) – A bill that would secure funding for bridge repairs and is co-sponsored by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), as well as Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), is expected to pass committee this week.
The trio of senators secured a $3.25 billion investment for the bridge repairs in the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Highway package, which includes the senators’ Bridge Investment Act.
The legislation would establish a competitive grant program to assist in the repair and/or replace of bridges across the country. In addition to the grants, all projects would be required to use American-made steel and iron.
“Rebuilding bridges across the U.S. will create new jobs and make our country more competitive,” Brown, who serves as Ranking Member on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, said. “Ohio has more than 6,000 bridges that need structural repairs or other updates to make them safer and reduce congestion. But states and cities can’t do it alone – they need real investment to help fix these outdated bridges that clog up our roads and leave drivers at greater risk of an accident.”
Additional provisions in the Bridge Investment Act include:
Ensure a bipartisan infrastructure package could rehabilitate or replace large bridges across the country, similar to the Brent Spence Bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky in Cincinnati.
Create an innovative evaluation process for prospective projects to ensure fair and efficient allocation of federal funding.
Bundle medium and small projects into a single application to cut down on red tape and accelerate repairs.
Allow entities from all levels to apply for funding, from local to state agencies, as well as counties and Indian tribes.