U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today announced almost $35 million in Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) discretionary funds for infrastructure projects in 21 states.
"The Bush Administration recognizes the need for continued strategic investment to improve America's transportation system," Secretary Mineta said. "These federal highway funds will help improve the transportation system, create jobs and benefit the economy."
The 36 grants were provided to the states in three categories. The categories, number of grants and the totals provided, are:
- Discretionary Bridge - Seismic Retrofit, four grants in four states, $24.8 million;
- Historic Covered Bridge program, 24 grants in 15 states, $5.6 million; and
- Value Pricing, eight projects in seven states, $4.5 million.
The Discretionary Bridge Program, established by law in 1978 and continued through subsequent legislation, consists of two categories: Replacement and Rehabilitation, and Seismic Retrofit. Grants in the former category were announced in June 2003. Seismic retrofitting is undertaken by states to help protect bridges during seismic events such as earthquakes. The Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program provides funds to states to preserve, rehabilitate or restore historic covered bridges. Value-pricing grants provide funding to support the costs of implementing projects to promote economic efficiency in the use of highways and support congestion reduction, air quality, energy conservation, and transit productivity goals.
The Secretary of Transportation makes FHWA discretionary funds available upon selection after requests from states for funds for projects that meet criteria established by federal law and U.S. Department of Transportation regulations and procedures. Congress also designates funding for specific projects under these programs.
Totals for the states are on the Internet at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/discretionary/fy03congdes.htm.