By law, the funds were restricted to states with population densities of less than 100 people per square-mile based on Census data. Twenty-five states met program qualifications.
The funds must be used for highway bridge replacement or rehabilitation projects on public roads that leverage the efficiencies associated with "bundling" at least two highway bridge projects into a single contract. Bundling offers cost and time savings, which are beneficial to reducing the transportation project backlog. It allows the opportunity to address many projects facing similar needs using replacement and rehabilitation strategies in a cost-effective manner.
The 20 projects selected demonstrate these benefits and support the United States Department of Transportation’s priorities.
“The projects funded under the program will serve as models for similar bridge improvement projects throughout the nation,” said Federal Highway Administrator Nicole R. Nason. “They are examples of how to achieve time and cost savings through innovation.”
Congress funded the CHBP grant program in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, from the U.S. Treasury's General Fund. State Departments of Transportation in the 25 eligible states were invited to apply under the program.
FY 2018 Competitive Bridge Program Grants in Western Builder’s area:
Minnesota: District 1/St. Louis County Bridge Bundling Project, $10,252,000
This project by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) replaces 21 bridges. Four of the bridges being replaced are along Trunk Highway 210 in Carlton County. The remaining 17 bridges are located throughout St. Louis County. The project will improve the condition of 21 bridges in poor condition in St. Louis and Carlton Counties and will benefit the region’s mining, fishing and hunting industries. This project leverages the MnDOT’s and St. Louis County’s previous successes in administering bridge bundled projects. By utilizing two primary designs, the project will achieve significant cost savings and efficiencies in construction.
North Dakota: Bridge Rural Replacement Program, $6,511,000
This project by the North Dakota Department of Transportation will improve the condition of 18 bridges from poor condition to good. The improvements support economic vitality by removing load-restricted bridges, allowing for the unimpeded movement of freight and other heavy vehicles. Replacing these bridges will reduce overall maintenance costs. It promotes the use of standard design details for multiple structures and will also reduce freight and heavy vehicle mileage due to detours from load restricted bridges.
South Dakota: West River Counties Bridge Replacement Project, $2,247,000
This project by the South Dakota Department of Transportation will improve the condition of four bridges from poor condition to good in Butte, Meade and Lawrence Counties, and it eliminates the need for load postings, essential for safe and efficient travel in the region. The bridges are on county highways, serving as connectors for local communities and supporting local and regional economies in South Dakota. The project will replace Orman Road over Horse Creek in Butte County, Opal Road over Beaver Dam Creek in Meade County and St. Onge Road over False Bottom Creek Bridges in Lawrence county. The bridges represent critical transportation links for agricultural business and recreation. All four bridges connect farmers to nearby towns where livestock and crop are bought and sold.