The flow of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funds rolls on, with the Federal Highway Administration's award of $295.7 million from the law’s Bridge Investment Program.

The grants, announced on April 13, went to nine projects–five urban and four rural–which the agency selected via a competition.

Grants are limited to "total eligible project costs"of $100 million.

As with other U.S. Dept. of Transportation discretionary grant programs, competition was intense for these latest  bridge investment grants. According to ENR's calculations, FHWA received more than 260 applications, seeking a total of $4.9 billion.

Top Five Grants

The largest allocation for the fiscal 2022 round of grants is $73 million to the Michigan Dept. of Transportation for a project to replace the 85-year-old Lafayette Avenue Bridge–a bascule span in Bay City, Mich., across the Saginaw River. 

The total project cost is estimated at $91.3 million. According to an FHWA fact sheet, the bridge was closed for emergency repairs six times in 2019. Last year, the number of unanticipated closures increased to 20.

The second-largest grant is $72 million to the Washington, D.C. DOT to rehabilitate the northbound Interstate-395 bridge across the Potomac River. The project’s total cost is an estimated $90 million. 

The bridge, officially the Arland D. Williams Jr. Memorial Bridge, is one of the city's busiest, carrying more than 88,000 vehicles daily. According to FHWA, “Several bridge components are significantly deteriorated and constant maintenance efforts have generated urgent concerns for a long-term solution.” 

Other awards include $51.2 million to the South Carolina DOT to replace six rural bridges in Union County in the northwest part of the state, near the Appalachian Mountains. They range from 68 to 101 years old, are load-restricted and at or near the end of their service life, according to FHWA. The total project cost is an estimated $64 million.

FHWA also is awarding $24 million to San Diego to rehabilitate the 50-year-old Palm Avenue overcrossing bridge at the interchange with I-805 in San Diego. The project seeks to improve the bridge's structural safety and improve safety and traffic operations. Another goal is to increase the bridge's seismic resilience. The total project cost is an estimated $30 million.

Also on the list is a $21-million grant to the New York State Thruway Authority to upgrade the Castleton-on-Hudson Bridge, which links I-87 in Albany County to the New York-Massachusetts state line.

Work includes replacing the eastbound deck, and repairs to girders for the approach spans and truss members of the truss spans. FHWA says project sponsors estimate that the improvements will result in cutting maintenance costs by $13.5 million. The project’s total cost is estimated at $42 million.

Madison, Wis., won a $15.1-million grant to replace six two-lane bridges along the John Nolen Drive Causeway. The bridges "have reached the end of their service lives," the FHWA fact sheet says, and "have undergone constant repair in seven separate projects since 2000 due to differential settlement on Lake Monona's bottom."

The bridges carry a combined 45,000 vehicles per day. The project's total estimated cost is $30.2 million.

Bridge Investment Program Summary

In all, the infrastructure law contains $12.5 billion over five years for the Bridge Investment Program, which has several grant categories, including those just awarded.

The largest category, in dollars, is for large nationally significant bridges. In January, FHWA awarded the initial $2.1 billion to four bridges in that category. In another category, in January, it announced the award of $20 million in bridge planning grants.

Update on 4/17/2023 to include figures on number of grant applicants and dollars requested.