U.S. Reps. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) and Clay Higgins (R-LA) introduced this week the Fixing America’s Bridges Act, which proposes the re-establishment of a federal funding program to aid repairs and replacements of structurally deficient local bridges.
The program is specifically meant to help those municipalities that own bridges but have trouble affording costly maintenance of them. To do so, it would re-establish the Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program, providing federal grant money to states to repair or replace bridges found to be in poor condition by the Federal Highway Administration. Local communities would also see funds set-aside to help locally-owned bridges that aren’t a part of the federal aid highway system. Further, the federal cost-share for local bridges would rise from 80 percent to 90 percent, shifting more of the burden off local entities.