Massive funding packages for two crucial US bridge replacement works

Funding packages will help pay for two major bridge replacement works in the Eastern US and Western US.
Road Structures / December 20, 2023 1 minute Read
By MJ Woof
Funding will help pay for the replacement of the I-5 Bridge in the Western US and the Sagamore Bridge in the Eastern US, with the latter pictured – image courtesy of © Atomazul |

Funding packages worth US$600 million and $372 million will help pay for two major bridge replacement projects in the US. The former project is to replace a bridge spanning the Colombia River on the I-5 route, connecting Washington State and Oregon State, while the latter is to replace the Sagamore Bridge in the state of Massachusetts.

The $600 million grant from the Federal National Infrastructure Project Assistance Program to the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program will help in the replacement of the 100 year-old I-5 bridge. This project could cost as much as $7.5 billion, with the Oregon Department of Transportation and Washington Department of Transportation also sharing the costs. Federal Department of Transportation grant Initiative.

The new I-5 bridge is required as the existing structure no longer meets modern safety requirements, cannot cope with the 130,000 vehicles/day using it and is at risk of potential collapse in the event of an earthquake.

Meanwhile, in the eastern US the $372 million grant from the US Department of Transportation (DOT) is being provided to the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Massachusetts Department of Transport (MBOT). The Sagamore Bridge is 85 years-old, along with the nearby Bourne Bridge. Replacing the two is expected to cost as much as $4.5 billion.

Both the I-5 Bridge and Sagamore Bridge have been identified by the Federal Highway Administration as being in high priority categories for replacement. These ageing structures are not suited to the traffic loads they have to carry, with the latter classed as ‘Functionally Obsolete’ for example. The US does have a serious problem with road bridges and plans are in hand to address many of the key links in most serious need of replacement.