No funds for Cape Fear Memorial Bridge from U.S. DOT’s $456 million bridge investment plan

Unfortunately, the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge did not get included in the current 10-year State...
Unfortunately, the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge did not get included in the current 10-year State Transportation Improvement Plan
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 5:21 PM EST
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WASHINGTON DC (WECT) - North Carolina will receive $456.8 million as part of an historic bridge investment launched by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Friday.

Governor Roy Cooper mentioned in a tweet that the state welcomes the funding for infrastructure repairs.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is bringing a historic $456 million investment to update North Carolina’s bridges,” said Cooper. “Our state is ready to put this money to work repairing our infrastructure.”

North Carolina’s funding will help improve the condition of about 1,325 bridges deemed in poor condition and 9,710 bridges reported in fair condition across the state; however, the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge is not on either list.

The reasoning behind this was given by Division 3 Engineer Chad Kimes with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) in the following statement.

“NCDOT is always looking for opportunities to fund the transportation priorities of the communities we serve. Unfortunately, the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge did not get funded in the current STIP (2020-2029). While the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes important investments in bridges, the cost of replacing the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge exceeds the new funding being made available.”

According to a news release from the U.S. DOT, the nationwide investment into bridge replacement, rehabilitation, preservation, protection, and construction is the largest since the highway system was constructed.

The program, to be administered by the Federal Highway Administration, represents the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system – providing $26.5 billion to states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico over five years and $825 million for Tribal transportation facilities.

The funds are expected to help repair approximately 15,000 bridges across the United States.

“This record amount of funding, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will allow states and Tribal governments to fix the bridges most in need of repair,” Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack said. “It will also modernize bridges to withstand the effects of climate change and to make them safer for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians. Every state has bridges in poor condition and in need of repair, including bridges with weight restrictions that may force lengthy detours for travelers, school buses, first responders or trucks carrying freight,” she added.

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