WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced $225 million in funding for bridge repairs in Maine, made possible through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Representing the largest bridge formula program in American history, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is dedicating $26.5 billion to states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico over the five years of the law and $825 million for Tribal transportation facilities. The total amount that will be available to states, D.C. and Puerto Rico in Fiscal Year 2022 is $5.3 billion along with $165 million for tribes.
“In Maine, there are 315 bridges in poor condition. Thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Maine is being infused with an historic amount of funding, giving us the resources we need to fix or replace these structures, keep our cities and towns connected, and create good-paying jobs,” said Congresswoman Pingree. “These funds will also help modernize our infrastructure to better withstand the extreme conditions caused by climate change, which we’re woefully unprepared for. I proudly helped pass this infrastructure bill, and I’m thrilled Maine is already reaping its historic benefits.”
Maine will receive a total of $225 million under the new five-year program to address highway bridge needs, with $45 million being allocated for the 2022 fiscal year. The funding is available to improve the condition of 315 bridges in poor condition and to preserve and improve more than 1,431 bridges in fair condition in the state.
Nationwide, the Bridge Formula Program is expected to help repair approximately 15,000 bridges. In addition to providing funds to states to replace, rehabilitate, preserve, protect, and construct highway bridges, the Bridge Formula Program has dedicated funding for Tribal transportation facility bridges as well as “off-system” bridges, locally owned facilities which are those not on the federal-aid highway system.
On November 5, 2021, Pingree voted with the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the IIJA, which was signed into law by President Biden on November 15.
The IIJA includes an incentive for states to direct the new Bridge Formula Program funds to off-system bridges owned by a county, city, town or other local agency. While states normally must match federal funding with up to 20 percent state or local funding, the guidance issued today notes that federal funds can be used for 100 percent of the cost of repairing or rehabilitating such locally owned off-system bridges. The IIJA is a once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure, which will grow the economy, enhance U.S. competitiveness in the world, create good jobs, and make our transportation system more sustainable and equitable. Specific to the FHWA, the IIJA provides more than $350 billion over five fiscal years for surface transportation programs.
Pingree recently authored an op-ed in the Portland Press Herald outlining the benefits of the IIJA and its impacts on Maine. A complete breakdown of how the infrastructure law will benefit Maine can be found here.