Almost half of Nation’s bridges are not on the federal highway system and often cannot qualify for federal funds
Washington, D.C. – As Congress considers infrastructure legislation, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) are introducing the Support for Community Bridges Act. Across the U.S., city and county governments struggle to maintain the cost of repairing bridges in poor condition. Almost 50 percent of the Nation’s bridges are “off-system,” meaning that they are not on the federal highway system and are often left out of federal support, putting further strain on local budgets. Of these off-system bridges, many are located in rural areas. This legislation would allocate more dedicated funds for bridge repair to states with more off-system bridges in poor condition.
“The safety and quality of our Nation’s roads and bridges is paramount, which is why Senator Blunt and I are committed to ensuring dedicated federal set-aside funding to repair off-system bridges. This legislation will provide a much-needed funding increase for bridge maintenance and help local governments get back on their feet after the financial challenges of the pandemic,” said Senator Casey.
“Repairing and upgrading our transportation network is especially important here in Missouri, where location is one of our biggest competitive advantages,” said Senator Blunt. “I’m proud to join Senator Casey in introducing this bill to provide much-needed support to off-system bridges throughout Missouri, especially in our rural communities. This bill will ensure state and local governments get additional resources to modernize their infrastructure and create a stronger foundation for economic growth.”
Based on last year’s funding levels, off-system bridges would receive roughly $1.2 billion, up from roughly $776 million, which comes from a combination of highway trust fund and general treasury funds that go to the highway aid program through Congressional appropriations. As federal investment in infrastructure increases, so would the amount for off-system bridges.
The National Association of Counties and National League of Cities support this legislation.
Read the Support for Community Bridges Act here.