According to the House Democrat’s Stimulus Bill report, the Coast Guard alters, repairs, or removes bridges that it deems a hazard to marine navigation, and it says there are 12 eligible bridges that fit that category right now.
The bill provides $150 million to “fund authorized bridges that have 90 percent of their design completed and could begin construction during fiscal year 2009.”
Although a “subject matter expert” conversant with the Coast Guard’s bridge replacement initiative was not available at press time due to the federal holidays, the service supplied a list of twelve bridges it has declared unreasonably obstructive to navigation and whose owners have received an “Order to Alter.”
That finding of “unreasonably obstructive” requires the bridge owners to replace their obstructive bridges with new bridges that would provide sufficient clearances for the types of vessels that transit through the bridge site.
The law gives the Coast Guard authority to undertake the work if the owner does not respond in a prescribed amount of time. The bridges are:
- Burlington Railroad Bridge over the Upper Mississippi River, Burlington, Iowa
- Fort Madison Railroad Bridge over Upper Mississippi River, Fort Madison, Iowa
- CSX Railroad Bridge over Mobile River, Hurricane, Ala.
- Galveston Causeway Railroad Bridge across Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Galveston, Texas
- Elgin, Joliet, and Eastern Railroad Bridge across Illinois Waterway, Divine, Il.
- LaCrosse Railroad Bridge over Upper Mississippi River, LaCrosse, Wis.
- Clinton Railroad Bridge over Upper Mississippi River, Clinton, Iowa
- Sabula Railroad Bridge over Upper Mississippi River, Sabula, Iowa
- Pekin Railroad Bridge over Illinois Waterway, Pekin, Il.
- Louisiana Railroad Bridge over Upper Mississippi River, Louisiana, Mo.
- Bordeaux Railroad Bridge over Cumberland River, Bordeaux, Tenn.
- Simmesport Railroad Bridge over Atchafalaya River, La.