Biden-Harris Administration Announces $144 Million to Improve Four Bridges Over the Calumet River on the Southside of Chicago Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s First Large Bridge Grants, a Top Priority for Illinois’ Commuters and Commerce
Investment in Illinois’ Bridge Infrastructure Part of $2.1 Billion in Fiscal Year 2022 Large Bridge Grants to make critical improvements to bridges that are a vital link for local residents, communities and economies
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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced Illinois’ project to rehabilitate four bridges over the Calumet River on the Southside of Chicago will receive $144 million in the first round of Large Bridge Grants from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s competitive Bridge Investment Program. The grant to the City of Chicago will fund improvements to four bridges, which lift an average of 5,000 times per year, providing continuous and safe access for marine traffic to and from the Illinois International Port and surrounding industry. Rehabilitating these bridges ensures that communities on either side of the river remain connected and the bridges continue to function to allow barge and ship traffic to traverse to the Port and beyond.
In addition to addressing congestion and safety issues for communities in the Chicago area, improvements to these bridges will address delays in the movement of freight that currently raise costs for American families. This grant is part of historic investments made possible by the Biden-Harris Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will help repair or rebuild ten of the most economically significant bridges in the country along with thousands of bridges across the country.
“Safe, modern bridges ensure that first responders can get to calls more quickly, shipments reach businesses on time, and drivers can get to where they need to go,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The Biden-Harris Administration is proud to award this historic funding to modernize large bridges that are not only pillars of our economy, but also iconic symbols of their states’ past and future.”
“These first Large Bridge grants will improve bridges that serve as vital connections for millions of Americans to jobs, education, health care and medical care and help move goods from our farms and factories,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “And over the next four years we will be able to fund construction for the pipeline of shovel ready projects we are creating through Bridge Planning Grants.”
“This grant to improve four bridges over the Calumet River in Illinois demonstrates the transformational investments we are making to support President Biden’s commitment to rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure,” said FHWA Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “We are pleased to partner with the City of Chicago and see work get underway to modernize these bridges, which will have a real impact on the quality of life for thousands of residents and motorists traveling on either side of the Calumet River who will benefit from these improvements for decades to come.”
Large Bridge Project Grants under the Bridge Investment Program are available for bridges with total eligible project costs over $100 million, with minimum grant awards of $50 million, and maximum grant awards of 50 percent of the total eligible project costs. As part of the selection process for this first round of grants, priority consideration was given to projects ready to proceed to construction, as well as those that require pre-construction funding and would benefit from a multi-year grant agreement.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is making the single largest dedicated investment in highway bridges – nearly $40 billion over five years, – since the construction of the Interstate highway system with nearly $2.4 billion available in Fiscal Year 2022 from the Bridge Investment Program which complements $5.3 billion announced earlier this year for states under the Bridge Formula program.
Additional information on FHWA’s Bridge Investment Program, including Large Bridge Grants and Bridge Planning Grants, can be found at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/bip/.