(The Center Square) – The federal government is sending more than $1.1 billion to New Jersey to help the state repair its bridges.
The money is part of the more than $27 billion Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection, and Construction Program. The funding was included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
New Jersey officials say the funding will help improve about 480 bridges in poor condition and about 4,500 bridges in fair condition.
“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,” Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack said in an announcement.
The Federal Highway Administration will administer the program, which officials contend “represents the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system.” Nationally, the money will help repair roughly 15,000 highway bridges.
“There are bridges in Hudson County that were built 80 and 90 years ago and represent a serious danger to travelers,” U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr., D-New Jersey, said in an announcement. “In addition, there are other bridges on Interstate 495 that should be fixed now.”
Generally, states must match federal funding with up to 20% in state or local funding. However, according to a news release, states can use these funds to cover the total cost of repairing or rehabilitating “off-system bridges owned by a county, city, town or other local agency.”