WASHINGTON – Greg Regan and Shari Semelsberger, President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issued this statement in response to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s announcement of a historic bridge investment program, made possible by the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law:
“We applaud the Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration for today launching this historic federal investment, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to repair America’s bridges.
“Our coalition has long called for these desperately needed and long overdue investments to address maintenance backlogs and to ensure that America’s bridges keep pace with growing demand on our roads. A high-functioning interconnected highway bridge system is necessary to move freight traffic, like the essential goods that our transportation network and workforce have continued to deliver during the pandemic despite enormous challenges.
“For too long, the federal government has looked the other way on bridge maintenance and replacement, stunting our nation’s economic growth, placing even greater strain on commuters who spend hours in traffic and whose safety is put at risk when we fail to invest.
“By meeting those needs head on and investing more than $27 billion in federal funding over the next five years, this historic Bridge Formula Program will not only help move people and goods safely and more efficiently, but it will put people to work repairing and rebuilding our bridges while creating and supporting good union jobs.
“We proudly represent construction and trades unions whose members – including painters, operating engineers, laborers, and other workers – will be critical to fixing the approximately 15,000 bridges across the nation that stand to benefit from this new funding.
“Thanks to President Biden, who pledged to voters that he’d create jobs and fix our roads and bridges, and leaders in Congress who supported the Bipartisan Infrastructure law, we’ve got the funding. Now, let’s get to work.”