Roads and Bridges

 

America’s aging surface transportation infrastructure poses economic and safety risks to commuters each and every day. The economic loss due to roads and bridges that are in need of repair exceeds $147B per year. This $147B includes $109B in damages to vehicles, $36B in travel time delays, $1.4B in safety costs, and $700M in environmental costs. Under the current federal transportation funding authorization known as the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act, the federal government only invests $56B per year in our nation’s roads and bridges. This leaves a funding hole of over $100B per year to sufficiently repair, rebuild, and replace our nation’s inadequate and dangerous roads and bridges. The surface infrastructure in Minnesota is also being underfunded at a staggering $1.63B per year. 

The 8th Congressional District mirrors the rest of the nation when it comes to aging roadway infrastructure that has become obsolete and in need of upgrade and repair. Aging infrastructure poses both an economic cost to residents and a safety risk. 

In Congress, Leah will help secure funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program for immediate dollars to repair and replace our rural roads and bridges. Leah will also work for a much more robust surface transportation funding authorization when FAST expires in 2020.

The State of Our Bridges
In the 8th Congressional District, there are…

  • 176 structurally deficient bridges
  • 58 structurally obsolete bridges
  • 217 bridges posted for load*

The cost to repair and upgrade these bridges is estimated to be $421M

*restricts the size and weight of vehicles that can safely cross the structure, increasing travel time for freight to move throughout the district. 

 photo courtesy of Michael Theisen, Blue House Photography

photo courtesy of Michael Theisen, Blue House Photography

Leah will work to increase the amount of federal dollars, from about $50B per year to over $75B per year that is available to states and cities to repair, replace, and upgrade their road networks in the next surface transportation bill. This would represent an increase of more than $125B over five years when compared to FAST; an important step towards the total funding needed to update and maintain our nation’s roads and bridges.

  • A structurally deficient bridge means one or more of the key elements (such as the bridge deck, superstructure, or substructure) is considered to be in “poor” or worse condition.
  • A structurally obsolete bridge is one that doesn’t meet design standards in line with current practice.
  • A ‘posted for load’ bridge restricts the size and weight of vehicles that can safely cross the structure, increasing travel time for freight to move throughout the District.

Leah will ensure that investment in our nation’s roads and bridges is not constrained by the Highway Trust Fund and will work with her colleagues to secure additional funding from other sources, including an infrastructure bill and the General Fund. A promise of a $1 trillion infrastructure investment was made by President Trump during his campaign; it’s time we held him to that promise.