Investment in the Arland D. Williams Jr. Memorial Bridge will relieve congestion and improve safety and is part of nearly $300 million in Fiscal Year 2022 Bridge Investment Program Grants making critical improvements to 9 bridge projects.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced that the District Department of Transportation’s project to replace the Arland D. Williams Jr. Memorial Bridge will receive $72 million as part of a $300 million investment from the Bridge Investment Program in nine small and medium-sized bridge projects in both rural and urban areas in eight states and the District of Columbia. The grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Bridge Investment Program are an integral part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to rebuild our infrastructure and grow our economy from the middle out and bottom up. It comes on top of billions of dollars in other bridge and highway funding already flowing to every U.S. state and territory that is helping communities rebuild, repair, and replace tens of thousands of bridges across the nation and restoring connections that are vital to commuters, emergency responders, truck drivers, public transit riders, and more.

“When bridges have to close for repairs—or worse, begin to fail—it can cut off access to an entire community, adding hours to commutes, costing money for local businesses, and delaying first responders from getting to an emergency,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The grant awards we’re announcing today are helping communities of all sizes modernize their bridges so that school buses, delivery trucks, ambulances, and commuters can get where they need to go quickly and safely.”

Also known as the I-395 Northbound Bridge over the Potomac River, the grant to the District DOT will rehabilitate this four-lane, nearly half-mile bridge that carries people and goods between Arlington, Virginia, over the Potomac River and Washington, D.C.

This 73-year-old bridge, which is in poor condition, carries more than 88,400 vehicles each day, including more than 3,500 trucks. The rehabilitation of this bridge is a high priority for the District because its traffic volume is among the highest of all bridges in Washington, D.C. The improvements would minimize frequent maintenance-related bridge closures that cause severe traffic congestion in the D.C. region. In addition, the project will address safety issues and replace and repair deteriorating bridge elements, including the bascule span, steel barriers, and fender and dolphin systems. 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. These bridges are critical to the movement of people and goods locally, regionally, and nationally.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is investing in this bridge rehabilitation project because it will provide much-needed congestion relief and safety improvements for commuters in the D.C. metro area,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “Over the next five years, the Bridge Investment Program will work to repair, replace, and rehabilitate structures that allow businesses to move their goods to market while helping people get to jobs, schools, doctors, and other vital destinations. This project is an investment in both the United States’ economic growth and in the safety and long-term resilience of the communities that make this country great.”

The $300 million in investments announced today are awarded to bridge projects with eligible costs of up to $100 million. Today’s announcement follows earlier announcements under the Bridge Investment Program umbrella:

  • In October 2022, FHWA announced $20 million in bridge-planning grants for 24 projects in 24 states. Those grants were designed to create a pipeline of construction-ready bridge projects that are now in the early stages of project development.
  • In January 2023, FHWA announced $2.1 billion in large-bridge project grants to make critical improvements to four nationally significant bridges that serve as a vital link for local residents, communities, and both the regional and national economy. In addition to the four FY22 Large Bridge Project Grants, FHWA also announced an additional Bridge Planning grant to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the amount of $1.6 million to advance critical planning work in support of replacement of the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges over the Cape Cod Canal.

The Bridge Investment Program is a competitive grant program that will invest $12.5 billion over 5 years to rebuild, repair, and replace small, medium, and large bridges. This program already invested $2.4 billion in Fiscal Year 2022, and complements the $27.5-billion Bridge Formula Program, representing the single-largest dedicated investment in bridges since the construction of the Interstate Highway System.

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out, not top-down – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities safer and more resilient.

For more information on the Bridge Investment Program, please visit the FHWA’s Bridge Investment Program webpage.

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