September 04, 2013

Sens. Kaine & Warner Announce $12M Grant for I-64 Bridge Upgrade

U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded a $12 million grant to strengthen and re-deck two structurally deficient Interstate 64 bridges over the Maury River in Rockbridge County.

More than 9,000 vehicles a day travel across these I-64 eastbound and westbound bridges connecting Covington and Lexington. The bridges, which were built in 1976, recently rated a score of 4 on a scale of 9 in terms of their structural integrity and overall safety.

The $12 million federal grant allows the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to immediately begin work on the project, which is estimated to cost $19 million when completed. This project will repair extensive structural steel fatigue cracking within the bridges and, upon completion, will extend the life cycle of the two bridges by 50 years.

“This investment will provide crucial jobs in a rural area of the Commonwealth, improve the safety of our highways, and strengthen a critical east-west freight corridor so we can continue to move American-made goods to our ports and remain globally competitive,” Sen. Warner said. 

“Improving our roads and bridges keeps Virginians safe and raises the Commonwealth's platform for economic growth in a global economy,” Sen. Kaine said. “This grant will create jobs in Rockbridge County, ease traffic for commuters on I-64, and help businesses in the region in the long term.”

The federal funds were awarded through USDOT’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grant program, a highly competitive grant program that awards federal funds for road, rail, transit and port projects that will have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area or a region.  The funds are meant to jumpstart critical projects for which all required engineering and environmental reviews are complete or near completion and which are ready for construction.  USDOT received 568 grant applications totaling nearly $9 billion for the fiscal year 2013 TIGER grant allotment, far greater than $474 million provided for the program this year.

If you would like more information, please contact Kevin Hall (Warner) 202-224-2425 or Lily Adams (Kaine) 202-228-1174 .