Office of Sen. Patty Murray
Murray's amendment to DOT spending bill would raise bridge spending to more than $6 billion

In the aftermath of the Interstate 35-W bridge collapse in Minneapolis in August, the Senate has voted to boost federal funds to upgrade bridges nationwide by $1 billion, or about 20%, in fiscal year 2008.

The measure, an amendment to a fiscal 2008 spending bill for the Dept. of Transportation, would add $1 billion to the Federal Highway Administration's Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program, making the new level about $6.3 billion. The amendment, offered by Senate transportation appropriations Chair Patty Murray (D–Wash.), was approved on Sept. 10 by a vote of 60–33.

The additional funding would be distributed among the states according to the bridge program formula contained in the 2005 SAFETEA–LU authorization statute. According to a memo from Murray's office, the formula includes several factors, such as the physical condition of a state's bridges; cost to replace or upgrade deficient bridges; whether bridges meet present safety standards and traffic demand; and the bridges' role in the transportation system.

Murray's office says that to keep the DOT spending bill within its budget allocation, the Appropriations Committee shifted outlays that weren't used by other subcommittees to accommodate the additional $1 billion for bridges.

When the Appropriations Committee approved the DOT bill in July, before the Minnesota bridge collapsed, it provided estimated 2008 bridge program obligations of slightly more than $5 billion, up from $4.1 billion in 2007. States have used $5.3 billion for bridges annually, on average, for the past five years, according to Murray's office.

The Senate bill's bridge funding would have to be reconciled with figures in the DOT bill that the House approved in July.

BOOSTED FEDERAL FUNDS TO UPGRADE BRIDGES
Alabama $15,555,494 Montana $2,822,240
Alaska $3,039,702 Nebraska $5,692,805
Arizona $3,928,042 Nevada $2,500,000
Arkansas $12,472,923 New Hampshire $5,569,814
California $100,000,000 New Jersey $37,919,229
Colorado $7,465,758 New Mexico $2,978,426
Connecticut $33,545,876 New York $100,000,000
Delaware $3,028,428 North Carolina $25,321,588
District of Columbia $7,058,550 North Dakota $2,500,000
Florida $22,508,320 Ohio $32,918,739
Georgia $13,900,183 Oklahoma $15,962,296
Hai $5,398,718 Oregon $18,096,746
Idaho $4,125,863 Pennsylvania $93,887,593
Illinois $28,349,052 Rhode Island $15,224,139
Indiana $12,756,193 South Carolina $11,626,086
Iowa $14,572,001 South Dakota $2,880,383
Kansas $10,848,67 Tennessee $12,035,612
Kentucky $13,366,925 Texas $32,362,327
Louisiana $40,207,373 Utah $2,568,480
Maine $7,512,716 Vermont $7,013,688
Maryland $23,292,258 Virginia $20,440,584
Massachusetts $42,442,187 Washington $34,839,647
Michigan $23,539,287 West Virginia $11,554,093
Minnesota $6,849,173 Wisconsin $5,138,903
Mississippi $13,486,737 Wyoming $2,500,000
Missouri $26,396,149
Total $1,000,000,000