**Shaheen’s SAFE Bridges Act would rehabilitate and replace structurally deficient bridges**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has reintroduced legislation that would begin to address the more than 47,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. The Strengthen and Fortify Existing Bridges Act (SAFE Bridges), co-sponsored by Senators 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 in poor condition. Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI). In its 2019 Bridge Report, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) highlighted the significant number of bridges in urgent need of repair in the Granite State and across the country. In New Hampshire, 224, or 9 percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient. According to ARTBA, the average age of a structurally deficient bridge is 62 years, and each day 178 million vehicles make trips across these aging structures.
“My legislation would provide an overdue initial investment to repair our nation’s bridges, which will also help create jobs,” said Shaheen. “Both the President and members of Congress from both parties have spoken about the need to rehabilitate our aging infrastructure – this bill presents an opportunity to begin to make good on that pledge. As bridges in New Hampshire and across the country continue to crumble from disrepair, the need for bipartisan cooperation has never been more urgent. Continued neglect poses significant public safety risks and jeopardizes our economy.”
“In New Hampshire and across the country pedestrians and cars are traveling over bridges that have been weakened by age or overuse, which threatens public safety and hurts our economy,” Senator Hassan said. “I am pleased to join in reintroducing this important legislation to fund much-needed projects to rebuild – or in some cases replace – our aging bridges.”
In New Hampshire, more than 220 bridges are listed as structurally deficient or in poor condition. The SAFE Bridges Act would authorize an additional $2.75 billion annually through Fiscal Year 2025 to enable states to repair and replace bridges in poor condition, as well as maintain the surface coating and corrosion protection systems on eligible bridges. The bill uses a needs-based formula to provide states with funding levels according to their share of the nation’s deficient bridges.
To read the text of the bill, click here.