September 6, 2018 – The Federal Highway Administration yesterday published a funding notice in the Federal Register letting the 25 U.S. states with the lowest population density know that they have until December 4 to submit applications for $225 million in bridge funding provided by the fiscal 2018 Transportation Appropriations Act.
Eno Transportation Weekly
January 15, 2017 – Today was the 50th anniversary of the deadliest highway bridge disaster in U.S. history – the collapse of the “Silver Bridge” between Point Pleasant, West Virginia and Gallipolis, Ohio, which killed 46 people. Ten years ago, in the wake of another fatal bridge collapse, Congress seemed on the verge of expanding the existing highway bridge program, but over the next five years, attitudes towards how to best deal with the problems of bridge safety and capacity turned completely around and led to the MAP-21 law abolishing the bridge program entirely in favor of a more holistic performance-based highway-and-bridge asset management program.
August 15, 2007 – Imagine this: a highway bridge over a major river, in service for 39 years, suddenly collapses while full of afternoon rush hour traffic. A significant number of lives are lost. The White House and the Department of Transportation immediately order nationwide bridge inspections. The bridge collapse hits home for the chairman of a powerful Congressional committee that oversees the highway program, and he not only holds a series of hearings to draw attention to decaying bridges, he also introduces and eventually pushes through legislation establishing a special federal program to pay for bridge replacement.
Sound familiar? It happened almost 40 years ago, in 1967. The initial federal response to that bridge disaster was strikingly similar to what has happened thus far in response to the August 1 collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis, and the lessons of the 1967 incident and the history of the resulting federal bridge programs may prove useful in the current debate.