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The Next Round of BRIDGE NY

The LaBella team of transportation engineers has been actively following the status of the next round of BRIDGE NY funding announcements.

As most municipalities know, the state has made funding available for local governments over the past several years to rehabilitate and replace bridges and culverts statewide. We know this investment in local transportation infrastructure will support the needs of the traveling public, movement of goods, and regional economic competitiveness.

The BRIDGE NY program, administered by the NYSDOT, is open to all municipal owners of bridges and culverts. Projects will be awarded through a competitive process and support all phases of project development. Projects selected for funding under the BRIDGE NY initiative will be evaluated based on:

  • The resiliency of the structure including such factors as hydraulic vulnerability and structural resiliency,
  • The significance and importance of the bridge including traffic volumes, detour considerations, number and types of businesses served, and impacts on commerce; and
  • The current bridge and culvert structural conditions.

Bridge projects must be on a public roadway that carries vehicular traffic; be eligible for federal aid; and shall follow the federal aid process. Culvert projects must be on a public highway and shall follow the state aid process. The department may consider bridge projects that incorporate sensors to monitor structural integrity. Bridges and/or culverts that are on a toll collection facility are excluded from eligibility for BRIDGE NY funds. Multi-use (pedestrian/bicycle) and railroad bridges are not eligible for BRIDGE NY funds.

Previous experience has taught us that certain bridge and culvert candidates tend to score very well. Listed below is the scoring of the Bridge Priority Index (BPI). As noted, certain factors should be reviewed prior to preparing the application to ensure you are choosing the correct structure to be submitted. Note that the detour length is a significant variable.

A complete application with sound cost estimating is also imperative. Many of the early projects funded under round one of the BRIDGE NY program were woefully underfunded. This left local bridge/culvert owners seeking ways to fund the difference. Applications for round two of BRIDGE NY saw a two-step process with reviews from state and county officials. These reviews were implemented to raise any red flags with the application and reduce the potential for future funding issues. Additionally, municipalities are also strongly encouraged to have a NYS Professional Engineer review bridge applications and provide a signed letter certifying that a NYS PE has performed a quality assurance review of the application.

The LaBella team has completed numerous successful applications for municipalities and fully understands the process. We would welcome the opportunity to assess your current infrastructure needs and help your municipality with the application process to maximize your award.