Biden-Harris Administration Awards $269,600 Bridge Planning Grant to Excelsior, Minnesota, in Partnership with City of Greenwood Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
Project will help the cities plan for improvements to Minnetonka Boulevard Bridge over St. Alban’s Bay of Lake Minnetonka
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EXCELSIOR, Minn. – Today, Acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has awarded a $269,600 grant to Minnesota’s City of Excelsior in partnership with the City of Greenwood under the first round of grants from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s competitive Bridge Investment Program. These early planning grants, going to 23 projects in 23 states, will be used to create a pipeline of bridge construction projects, one of many ways in which the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is working to build, repair, and replace tens of thousands of bridges in communities across the country.
Acting Administrator Pollack joined U.S. Representative Dean Phillips along with local and state officials from the City of Excelsior, City of Greenwood and Minnesota Department of Transportation to announce the $269,600 grant that will help the cities plan for improvements to the Minnetonka Boulevard Bridge over St. Alban’s Bay of Lake Minnetonka. The Bridge was built during the 1940’s and connects the cities of Excelsior and Greenwood.
The first round of planning grants under the Bridge Investment Program will provide $18.4 million in Fiscal Year 2022 funding for 23 projects in 23 states. These grants will be used to create a pipeline of future bridge construction projects to improve safety, support economic competitiveness, and to provide resilient highway infrastructure that is better able to withstand the effects of climate change.
“Bridges represent more than just their physical structures—they connect people and communities and make it easier to go about our daily lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These grants will help communities across the country move forward to modernize their bridges and make it easier for people and goods to move quickly, reliably, and safely to their destinations.”
In total, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Bridge Investment Program will make the single largest dedicated investment in bridges – $12.5 billion over five years, with nearly $2.4 billion available in Fiscal Year 2022 – since the construction of the Interstate highway system.
“Across the nation, the Biden-Harris Administration is making historic investments in thousands of bridges, which often serve as a community’s or region’s most important transportation link,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “These Bridge Planning Grants will be used to create a pipeline of future bridge construction projects to improve safety, add or improve multi-modal access, support economic competitiveness, and to provide resilient highway infrastructure that is better able to withstand the effects of climate change.”
Planning grants under the Bridge Investment Program are available for projects in the early phases of project development, where eligible activities include planning, feasibility analysis, and revenue forecasting. By providing planning grants in addition to construction grants, US DOT can aid in the development stage of a project – whether owned by a state, a city, or a local community – that could then later be eligible to apply for a construction grant through a range of competitive grant programs where bridge projects are eligible, including the Bridge Investment Program, MEGA, INFRA, and RURAL, based on criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
“The Bridge Planning program will help create a pipeline of bridge projects that can potentially be awarded construction grants during the implementation of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. These planning grants were all made at the requested funding amounts for bridges that are critical to working people living in communities across the country,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “Through the Bridge Investment Program, we are helping communities as they plan to restore and replace bridges that play vital roles for the people who use them in their daily lives. Planning for these activities is a critical step before construction can get underway.”
“Investments in roads, bridges, waterways, energy, and the future of our nation is a unifying need,” said U.S. Representative Dean Phillips. “I want to thank the Federal Highway Administration for approving these critical projects in Minnesota’s Third District, as well as the local engineers and construction workers who will make these investments a reality. Most of all, I commend the 19 Republican Senators and 13 Republican House members who crossed party lines to pass the bipartisan infrastructure package into law. We simply could not have done it without you.”
“This important bridge, linking Excelsior to Greenwood and beyond into neighboring Lake Minnetonka communities, was built as a Federal WPA project in 1941. For over 80 years, it has served the community well, but now urgently needs reinvestment,” said City of Excelsior Acting Mayor Jennifer Caron. “Excelsior is grateful for this Federal grant to help this historic bridge continue to fulfill its critical role of providing road, trail and walkway connections for our first responders, residents, businesses and visitors for another 80 years.”
“Technically, the St. Alban’s Bay bridge is the dividing boundary between the cities of Greenwood and Excelsior, but it really is a connection between our two communities that provides vital access for our businesses and residents,” said City of Greenwood Mayor Debra Kind. “It is great news that our little – but very important – bridge is receiving Bipartisan Infrastructure Law grant funds.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a total of $20 million in FY 2022 funding for Bridge Planning grants. FHWA will reserve the remaining $1.6 million to award to projects identified under the upcoming Large Bridge Project grant awards that may be better suited for a planning grant than a construction grant.
The full list of grant awards can be found on the FHWA web site: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/bip/planninggrants2022/
For more information on the Bridge Investment Program, please visit https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/bip/.