As Infrastructure Week 2016 got underway Monday, The Hill created a list of what it considers to be five of the top needed transportation infrastructure projects in the country, admitting that such a list is subjective, but that it highlights the continued need for funding such projects.
The list includes:
- Brent Spence Bridge – This bridge first opened in 1963 and spans the Ohio River connecting Covington, Kentucky, and Cincinnati with I-75 and I-71 traffic. The Texas Transportation Institute says in 2009, freight valued at 3 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product crossed the bridge. Updates for the project has been reviewed for roughly 20 years and the price tag is estimated at $2.6 billion. To fund it, officials in Ohio have reviewed ways of splitting the cost between that state, Kentucky and the U.S. Department of Transportation, and to include tolls. However, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed a law in mid-April that puts a ban on tolls on interstate bridges that connect the two states.
- Interstate 10 Bridge and Bayway – Updates due to congestion and the need for a hurricane evacuation route for the Gulf Coast are fueling the need for widening work on the I-10 Bridge over the Mobile River. Project cost is estimated at $850 million and the Alabama Department of Transportation is looking at adding a toll to pay for part of the construction.
- San Francisquito Creek bridges – Flooding caused by the low creek flow capacity of bridges over the San Francisquito Creek in Palo Alto, California, are prompting the need for updates to these structures near the heart of Silicone Valley.
- Washington, D.C., Metrorail system – The system has been plagued with problems in the past couple of years, with smoke filling a station and killing one passenger. Earlier this year the system was shut down for emergency inspections and repairs, efforts that will continue on and off for the next year to update the system.
- Gateway Rail Tunnel project – This tunnel connects New Jersey and Penn Station in New York City via two tunnels travelling under the Hudson River that were built 105 years ago. Hurricane Sandy in 2012 damaged the tunnels on top of their aging condition. The repair project is budgeted at $24 billion and would involve two new tunnels as well as capacity additions to Penn Station.