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Congressmen Krishnamoorthi and Higgins Introduce Bipartisan Fixing America’s Bridges Act

February 23, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) are reintroducing the bipartisan Fixing America’s Bridges Act, which would reestablish a federal funding program to help repair and replace structurally deficient bridges across the United States.
 
The bill would restore the Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program to help states repair or replace bridges that are found to be in “poor condition” by the Federal Highway Administration. The legislation would also increase the federal cost-share from 80% to 90% for all projects, including both Federal-aid highway bridges and local bridges.

“I’m proud to be a co-lead of the bipartisan Fixing America’s Bridges Act because improving our infrastructure is crucial to public safety and the health of our economy. Illinois ranks 15th in the nation in the percentage of our bridges which are structurally deficient, and more than 11% of the bridges in my own district are,” said Congressman Krishnamoorthi. “At a time when communities are already financially strapped, this bill will provide much-needed assistance to local governments to improve and modernize their bridges to meet the needs of our communities.”

“Continued economic growth relies on modern and reliable infrastructure. Our legislation prioritizes additional federal resources to upgrade and repair America’s bridges,” said Congressman Higgins. “There are over 1,700 qualifying bridges in Louisiana that would benefit from this bill. I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan legislation with the support of Congressman Krishnamoorthi, and my office will continue working to advance local infrastructure projects.”
  
The legislation is supported by the National Association of Counties, National Association of County Engineers, Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, and Soy Transportation Coalition.

Support for the Fixing America’s Bridges Act:
 
“Counties own and operate four out of every 10 bridges, connecting people and places and helping communities across America thrive,” said National Association of Counties Executive Director Matthew Chase. “To address the bridge maintenance backlog, we need reliable federal and state partners. Increasing investments in locally-owned bridges and reducing the local match requirement will give counties additional resources to strengthen our nation’s transportation network. We thank Representatives Higgins and Krishnamoorthi for their efforts to address this important infrastructure issue.”
 
"Counties maintain nearly 40% of the nation’s bridge inventory, and the nation’s County Engineers are tasked with ensuring the safety of this vital transportation infrastructure every day," said National Association of County Engineers Executive Director Kevan Stone. “While millions of Americans depend on bridges to bring them to work and school each day while also bringing goods to market, Representatives Higgins and Krishnamoorthi realize the challenges and costs faced to maintain them. We commend their efforts to ensure the backbone of our transportation system remains in a state of good repair through the reinstatement of the Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program. With more bridges approaching their lifespan each year, this legislation is as crucial as ever.”
 
“Our outdated I-10 River Bridge at Lake Charles is costing our residents, business, and industry time and money. It costs extra fuel and emissions due to traffic congestion. Almost every day there are traffic delays on the bridge. It's a safety and economic issue for all residents and interstate travelers. The longer we wait the more it will cost to replace the bridge,” said George Swift, President/CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “We thank Congressman Higgins and Congressman Krishnamoorthi for leading the way on the Fixing America's Bridges Act. This legislation is urgently needed.”
 
“The temptation is for our nation to concentrate attention and resources toward the transportation needs of urban America at the expense of the needs of rural America. We must be attentive to both,” said Mike Steenhoek, Executive Director of the Soy Transportation Coalition. “We commend Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi and Clay Higgins for introducing bipartisan legislation that will provide tangible benefit to our nation’s farmers and other rural residents who depend upon a safe, reliable, and accessible transportation system.”