The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) today applauded the Senate passage of an amendment to ensure that bridges most in need of repair are fixed ahead of any others. The measure, introduced by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), calls for bridges that have been classified by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as “functionally obsolete” or “structurally deficient” to receive priority consideration for new federal bridge funding under the $500 million “Bridges in Critical Corridors” fund. The new program is included in the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill.
Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI, said, “Our nation’s infrastructure needs are at critical mass. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, nearly 25 percent of our nation’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and our deteriorating surface transportation infrastructure could cost the American economy more than 876,000 jobs. Investments in surface transportation directly impact the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector, especially by increasing demand for steel fabricated products which creates valuable steel jobs. Senator Portman’s amendment will help address this serious national concern and put critical bridge repair funds where they are needed most.”