Following NH Infrastructure Report, Shaheen Reintroduces Legislation to Repair Aging Bridges: “The condition of New Hampshire’s bridges is unacceptable”

April 05, 2017

**Shaheen’s SAFE Bridges Act would rehabilitate and replace structurally deficient bridges**

 **Today, the 2017 New Hampshire Infrastructure Report Card gave New Hampshire’s bridge network a C-, below the national grade**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has reintroduced legislation that would begin to address the more than 56,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. The Strengthen and Fortify Existing Bridges Act (SAFE Bridges), co-sponsored by Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bob Casey (D-PA) and Angus King (I-ME), would establish a program to provide funding specifically dedicated to repairing and replacing bridges categorized as structurally deficient. In its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave our nation’s bridge network a barely passing grade of C+. Today, the 2017 New Hampshire Infrastructure Report Card was released giving New Hampshire’s bridge network a C-, below the national average. According to ASCE, nearly four in 10 of the nation’s bridges are 50 years or older and each day there are 188 million vehicle trips across these aging structures.

“The condition of New Hampshire’s bridges is unacceptable,” said Senator Shaheen. “Their disrepair hurts our economy, increases traffic, adds wear and tear to vehicles, and puts public safety at risk. The consequences of bridge failures are catastrophic and it is critical that Congress prioritize this infrastructure. My legislation provides a long overdue initial investment to help repair and replace New Hampshire’s structurally deficient bridges while putting Granite Staters to work.”

“Failure to fix our aging bridges threatens public safety and hurts our economy,” Senator Hassan said. “I am proud to cosponsor this important legislation to provide much needed funding to repair bridges. This common-sense legislation will help strengthen transportation infrastructure and support New Hampshire businesses while creating good jobs for hard-working Granite Staters.”

In New Hampshire, more than 400 bridges are listed as structurally deficient or in poor condition. The SAFE Bridges Act would authorize an additional $2.75 billion annually through FY2020 to enable states to repair and replace their structurally deficient bridges. The bill uses bill a needs-based formula to provide states with funding levels according to their share of the nation’s deficient bridges.