House Democrats introduce $5.5 billion bill for bridge repairs

|  June 20, 2013 |

The temporary span of the partially collapsed Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River in Washington state has opened to traffic.

The temporary span of the partially collapsed Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River in Washington state has opened to traffic.

With the Interstate 5 bridge in Washington state still generating headlines nearly a month after its partial collapse, Democrats in the House of Representatives have introduced a bill that seeks to fund the repair of a great many U.S. bridges.

According to a report from our sister site Better Roads, the Strengthen and Fortify Bridges (SAFE Bridges) Act would direct $5.5 billion in funding to the repair of more than 150,000 bridges that are classified as structurally deficient.

According to recent testimony before Congress from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, 25 percent or 151,845 of all U.S. bridges have been classified as either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

One of the bill’s supporters, Congressman Nick Rahall (D-WV) called the collapse a “dramatic wakeup call.” “Congress simply cannot keep hitting the snooze button when it comes to needed investment in our nation’s bridges or think that these aging structures can be rehabilitated with rhetoric,” he said.

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