Bill proposed to eliminate backlog of deficient bridges

By |  June 24, 2013

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) introduced a $5.5 billion bill June 19 to rehabilitate and reconstruct deficient U.S. bridges. The Strengthen and Fortify Existing Bridges Act (SAFE), which provides $2.75 billion in each of the next two years, was crafted in response to multiple catastrophic failures of highway bridges, including the I-35W Bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis and the I-5 Bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon, Wash.

‚ÄúProviding the means for safe and reliable transportation infrastructure is one of the core functions of our government, and this legislation helps fulfill that responsibility,” Rahall said, according to The Exponent Telegram of Clarksburg, W.Va.

The bill acknowledges that although MAP-21 includes provisions to strengthen the Federal Highway Administration’s bridge inspection and inventory standards, it represents a flat overall investment in U.S. highways and highway bridges. If passed, SAFE would give a 50-percent boost to federal-aid highway bridge funding.

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