Estimated $4.2 billion over five years represents largest federal investment ever to upgrade bridges
Sacramento — Following the Federal Highway Administration’s news today on the largest federal investment ever made to upgrade bridges, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California will receive nearly $850 million in initial funding for the five-year bridge repair program.
"With more than 26,000 bridges in California – including some of the busiest and most iconic in the nation – we thank the Biden-Harris Administration for this historic investment to make our bridges more resilient and create thousands of good-paying, middle class jobs for Californians."
California will receive $849.4 million this fiscal year – more than double the amount of any other state – and an estimated total of $4.2 billion over five years, to address highway bridge needs. Caltrans and local transportation agencies will target the funds to improve the nearly 1,500 bridges rated in “poor” condition in the state.
Caltrans inspects every bridge in California at least every two years, and these inspectors rate bridges “good,” “fair,” or “poor” based on issues such as cracks, concrete loss, and the need to repaint. Bridges are prioritized for maintenance based on their condition. A poor rating – while not an indication that the bridge is unsound – signals the need to prioritize the bridge’s maintenance.
The bridge formula program announced today represents the largest federal investment ever made in fixing bridges – dedicating $26.5 billion to states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico over the five years of the law and $825 million for Tribal transportation facilities. Nationwide, the program is expected to help repair approximately 15,000 bridges. In addition to providing funds to state highway bridges, the bridge formula program includes dedicated funding for Tribal transportation facility bridges and “off-system” bridges owned by a county, city, or other local agency.
On Monday, Governor Newsom unveiled his 2022-2023 budget — The California Blueprint — which includes major investments in transportation and infrastructure. The Blueprint proposes a nearly $15 billion investment in California’s transportation and infrastructure, funding programs and projects that will create thousands of new jobs, advance our climate and public health goals, and competitively position the state to pursue significant federal investment through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and other federal funding programs. The Blueprint also proposes billions to address supply chain congestion and accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles. With these investments, the state aims to significantly reduce pollution while supporting climate resiliency projects and accelerating the transition to cleaner transportation, including zero-emission vehicles. Additionally, it initiates projects to improve rail and transit services, connect more communities, and enhance safety for multiple modes of transportation.
The federal bridge funding announced today will further the progress California has made with Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, which provides approximately $5 billion in transportation funding annually split between the state and local agencies through 2027. Caltrans has advanced repairs and upgrades to California’s transportation system, including to the state’s bridges. With the funding from SB 1, the department repairs an average of 221 bridges annually—an 85 percent increase compared to pre-SB 1 levels. By 2027, Caltrans will have repaired at least 500 more bridges than it would have without SB 1 funding.
More information on what the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will mean for California is available on this fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Transportation.