At Columbia River Park along the Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Acting Deputy Secretary Mike Keiser, Acting District 8 Executive Chris Kufro, Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Recreation and Conservation Manager Lori Yeich, and local and regional officials highlighted benefits to Pennsylvania from the passage of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), specifically for Pennsylvania’s bridges.
“The passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is the largest federal infrastructure investment in decades, and the largest ever investment for bridges specifically,” said Acting Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Mike Keiser. “PennDOT – along with our partners – are ready to put these dollars to good use in meaningful projects all over the state.”
Pennsylvania is poised to receive an estimated $4 billion in new federal highway and bridge dollars over five years, including an estimated $1.6 billion from a new bridge program established by the BIL.
Pennsylvania has one of the largest state-maintained highway and bridge networks in the nation, with nearly 40,000 miles of roadway and over 25,400 bridges maintained by PennDOT. That number grows to approximately 120,000 miles of roadway and 32,000 bridges when considering the state and local networks.
The event was held in the shadow of the historic Veterans Memorial Bridge, which carries Route 462 and BicyclePA Route S over the Susquehanna River between Columbia, Lancaster County, and Wrightsville, York County. The bridge was originally built in 1930, and is slated for significant rehabilitation in 2023. Additionally, there are parks on both the Columbia and Wrightsville sides of the bridge, and multimodal connections and improvements are also planned in coordination with DCNR and local partners.
“One of the many benefits of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is the impact it will have on multimodal projects that connect people to parks and trails, as this rehabilitation project demonstrates,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “We have seen millions of people turn to the outdoors during the pandemic, which is why we are pleased to see federal investments in projects that will help retain those new users.”
In addition to the new highway and bridge funds, Pennsylvanians will benefit from new federal funds to support public transportation, airports, and freight and passenger rail. PennDOT and local governments can look forward to new and expanded competitive grant opportunities across all transportation modes. Additionally, new federal funds will be available to Pennsylvania to support the expansion of an electric vehicle (EV) charging network.