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Shaheen Introduces Amendment to Transportation Bill to Repair Aging Bridges

(Washington, DC) – As the Senate considers transportation funding legislation this week, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has introduced an amendment that would begin to address the more than 148,000 bridges across the country that are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The Strengthen and Fortify Existing Bridges Act (SAFE Bridges) would establish a program to provide funding specifically dedicated to repairing and replacing aging bridges.

“Communities all across New Hampshire have bridges that are literally falling apart,” said Shaheen. “Their disrepair hurts our economy, increases traffic, adds wear and tear to vehicles, and are a threat to public safety. My amendment provides long overdue investment in our nation’s bridges and will create jobs in the Granite State and across the country.”

In New Hampshire, more than 300 of the state’s bridges are listed as structurally deficient and more than 450 are listed as functionally obsolete. Nationally, the Federal Highway Administration has identified more than 148,000 structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridges, more than 20 percent of all bridges in the nation. Each day there are 200 million vehicle trips across these aging structures, many of which are approaching or already past their design lifespan. The SAFE Bridges Act authorizes an additional $2 billion annually, for the next three years, to enable states to repair and replace their structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridges.

Text of Senator Shaheen’s amendment is available here