The Federal Highway Administration has opened the application window for nearly $10 billion in “Large Bridge Project” grant funding for fiscal years 2023 through 2026; a program that provides funds for bridge projects with a more than $100 million price tag.
[Above photo by KYTC]
That is part of the $40 billion available through the agency’s Bridge Investment Program via the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA over a five-year period to help ensure that some of the nation’s most important bridges remain safe and operational; meet current and future traveler needs; support local economies; and strengthen the nation’s supply chains.
FHWA noted in a statement that its Bridge Investment Program is discretionary grant initiative that focuses on the replacement, rehabilitation, preservation and protection of existing bridges across the country.
[Editor’s note: The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials hosted a knowledge session at its 2023 Spring Meeting in Seattle that delved into ways transportation agencies can get the most out of the discretionary grant programs funded by the IIJA, such as the Bridge Investment Program.]
While this specific pool of grant funds is solely for bridge projects larger than $100 million, FHWA noted it would soon open applications for bridge projects with price tags under $100 million.
FHWA has also made several important updates to its Large Bridge Project grant program, including:
- Accepting applications for FY 2023-FY2026, creating the opportunity for applicants to compete for funding for all four fiscal years with a single application.
- Updated merit criteria to provide more direction to applicants, as well as an updated “smart application” template that FHWA highly encourages applicants to use to assist in filling out the application.
- A new Benefit Cost Analysis tool to assist applicants in completing required project analysis.
- An optional initial eligibility screening to provide applicants whose submission is determined to be incomplete or ineligible the opportunity to submit an amended application.
In January, FHWA issued $2.1 billion in FY 2022 funds from its Bridge Investment Program to cover the planning and construction costs of 37 bridge projects in 29 states across the country. The agency followed that with a more than $300 million disbursement to nine small and medium-sized bridge projects in both rural and urban areas of eight states and the District of Columbia in April