WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) joined a bipartisan group of senators to introduce legislation – The Building and Renewing Infrastructure for Development and Growth in Employment Act (BRIDGE) – to help states and localities better leverage private funds to repair and replace our nation’s outdated infrastructure.
To help address this funding shortfall for our nation’s transportation, water and energy infrastructure, the BRIDGE Act:
- Establishes an independent, nonpartisan financing authority to complement existing U.S. infrastructure funding. The authority would provide loans and loan guarantees to help states and localities fund the most economically viable road, bridge, rail, port, water, sewer, and other significant infrastructure projects.
- Supplies initial seed funding of up to $10 billion, which could incentivize private sector investment and make possible $300 billion or more in total project investment.
- Structures the authority to make it self-sustaining over time without requiring additional federal appropriations.
In December 2016, Senator Graham signed a letter to then-President-elect Donald Trump urging him to support the BRIDGE Act and prioritize spending for infrastructure needs in South Carolina and across the nation.
The American Society of Civil Engineers latest estimate shows that in order to close the $2.0 trillion 10-year investment gap, meet future need, and restore our global competitive advantage, we must increase investment from all levels of government and the private sector from 2.5% to 3.5% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025. As of 2012, of the more than 600,000 bridges in the U.S., 24.9 percent were either functionally obsolete or structurally deficient. Nationally, our bridges are, on average, 42 years old, and need an estimated $76 billion to repair and replace. Similarly, the average age of the 84,000 dams in the country is 52 years old, and the Association of State Dam Safety Officials estimates that aging and high-hazard dams require an investment of $21 billion to repair.
For more information on key provisions of the BRIDGE Act, click here.