Action Needed to Support County Transportation Funding
February 25, 2021
CSAC is pursuing additional federal funding for county transportation priorities, including local bridge, safety, and active transportation projects, at both the federal and state levels.
Fixing America’s Bridges Act
In Washington this week, Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Clay Higgins (R-LA) reintroduced legislation– the Fixing America’s Bridges Act (HR 1299) – that would restore the Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program (HBRRP) as a core Federal Highway Administration formula program.
Reestablishing the HBRRP has been a priority for California’s counties, as it would help ensure that local governments have additional, dedicated funding to repair and replace structurally deficient bridges. CSAC has endorsed HR 1299 and encouraged the California congressional delegation to cosponsor the legislation. We encourage counties to request that their congressional delegation cosponsor the bill.
The federal highway and transit authorization law—the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act—is set to expire this year, and CSAC’s Board-adopted priorities for transportation reauthorization include dedicated and increased federal funding for local bridges. In addition to restoring the bridge program as a core federal program, HR 1299 would increase the federal cost-share for all eligible bridge projects to 90 percent, up from the typical 80 percent federal contribution. Finally, it would increase the set-aside for bridges that are not located on a federal-aid highway, which would help ensure that locally owned off-system bridges receive much-needed funding.
Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA) Funding
Counties recall that CRRSAA allocated $912 million in highly-flexible federal transportation funding to California. CSAC joined with a coalition to request that the State Transportation Agency allocate a portion of the funding available to California pursuant to CRRSAA (PL 116-260) to high-priority local programs, including California’s Local Highway Bridge Program. The letter also expresses support for allocations to the Local Safety Highway Improvement Program and the Active Transportation Program. The remainder of the local funding would be available for distributions to regions via formula.