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The city of Philadelphia has been awarded $1.56 million in federal infrastructure grant money from U.S. President Joe Biden's competitive, bipartisan Bridge Investment Program.
The grant will be used to plan improvements for 18 deteriorating bridges in the city, which are located over electrified rail lines, according to an Oct. 14 KYW Newsradio report.
“Collectively, these projects will remove barriers to neighborhood and regional access. They will improve safety and reliability for hundreds of thousands of travelers by road and rail every day," Philadelphia Deputy Managing Director Mike Carroll said in the report.
Carroll also stated the bridges will undertake a feasibility study for the Overhead Bridge Rehabilitation Program so officials can probably determine what needs to be fixed, according to the report.
According to Acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack, the federal government is awarding $18.4 million in grants for projects in 23 U.S. states, KYW reported.
“Here in Philadelphia, these are complicated bridges because they go over train tracks and underneath electric wires,” Pollack said to KYW. “So this [$1.56] million grant will pay for a feasibility study so that the city can work with SEPTA and Amtrak and figure out the right way to fix these 18 bridges, while also making sure that there’s minimal disruption to train service. That’s why we need the study, to figure out this jigsaw puzzle.”
Due to the Philadelphia bridges' precarious locations, fixing them is a complicated effort, so such projects often get delayed until further notice, according to the KYW report.
“Like Margie Street, many of these bridges have fallen into poor condition while they’ve sat just idly on our to-do list for decades," Carroll said in the report.
The city is able to apply for further funding that has been set aside for bridge construction once the two-year feasibility study is complete, according to KYW. The state of Pennsylvania was also granted $2.6 billion in funding for roads, bridges, and tunnels earlier in the week.