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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New data shows Illinois spending federal stimulus money largely on road, bridge repairs
19 July 2009

CHICAGO (AP) - The vast majority of Illinois road and bridge projects that have won federal stimulus money to date focus on repairing crumbling infrastructure statewide -- an approach many watchdog groups have praised as offering the best bang for the stimulus buck.

That's according to new data on how Illinois is spending the funds six months after President Barack Obama signed a $789 billion economic stimulus bill. In the bill $27 billion was set aside for road and bridge construction and repair nationwide with $935 million going to Illinois.

Out of around 340 Illinois projects that have received money so far, nearly 250 are devoted to road repaving and similar improvements, a recently released list from the U.S. Department of Transportation revealed.

Illinois also is using the stimulus cash to begin fixing some of the hundreds of aging bridges, with more than 30 projects on the federal list for bridge repair and upgrades. Six projects were categorized as "bridge replacement," and there was one project to build a new bridge.

Gov. Pat Quinn recently signed a five-year, $31 billion construction plan -- the state's first capital bill in more than 10 years -- that will expand infrastructure work paid for with federal stimulus money. The state bill includes more than $14 billion for roads and bridges.

A report released recently by the Illinois Public Interest Research Group, or Illinois PIRG, highlighted the need for repair work, noting that 54 percent of state roads are in poor condition and 822 bridges are deemed structurally deficient.

It also argues that repair work is better at stimulating growth, saying such projects generate 16 percent more jobs than new construction. It adds that shabby roads cost drivers an average of $335 a year in damaged tires and suspensions, as well as in reduced fuel efficiency.

The report contrasts Illinois' emphasis on repairs to other states that devote a far larger chunk of their federal money to new construction. Kentucky, for example, is spending the majority of its federal funds on new roads, according to the PIRG report.

Some of the Illinois projects are already under way, with many others set to begin soon.

It's too early, though, to assess whether the Illinois projects meet the stated goals of the federal stimulus plan. It'll take months to determine how many new jobs, if any, a project creates.

Among the notable Illinois projects is a $29 million reconstruction of an interchange just east of St. Louis -- the single priciest project; $25,000 for a four-way stop signal along a Route 66 bike trial is also the smallest project to get federal stimulus cash.

The new data provide more detail than ever on how Illinois is putting the federal funds to use, but pledges to set new transparency standards still appear to fall short.

Project details can be hard to ferret out, including through a state Web site, Recovery.Illinois.Gov -- billed as a one-stop shop for anyone trying to monitor how stimulus money's being spent.

"Transparency should be a priority given the skepticism of people in Illinois," said Brian Imus, director of Illinois PIRG. "We've had corruption scandal after scandal and leaders here should learn form that. It shouldn't be a struggle for the average citizen to find out how their tax money's being spent."

Contractors still haven't been selected for many projects tagged to receive federal money. But the IDOT list does include contractors selected for more than 200 of the projects.

Several companies that won contracts have contributed generously to political leaders over the years.

That includes suburban Chicago-based Albin Carlson & Co., which won more than $8 million in contracts. It gave several thousand dollars to disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's campaign fund between 2006 and 2007, according to state elections records.

The process of awarding contracts was open and competitive, with companies submitting the lowest bid nearly always getting the nod, according to state officials. They insist that precluded politically connected companies from exerting undue influence behind closed doors.

"Everything's out in the open. You can't short-circuit the process," said Eric Harm, an IDOT engineer who helped oversee the bidding. "In this process, there are too many checks and balances."

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AP writer John O'Connor in Springfield also contributed to this report.
 

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AP analysis shows most W.Va. bridges earmarked for stimulus funds already in decent shape
31 July 2009

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia has tapped stimulus funds to clean, paint, resurface and replace a total of 87 bridges that it could not otherwise get to in the next six years.

State highways officials say they also tried to distribute both the money and the square footage of new or improved spans evenly among West Virginia's three congressional districts.

"We tried to spread the wealth around," said Marvin Murphy, state highway engineer for the state Division of Highways.

Ready-to-go jobs that could quickly boost state employment were favored as well. Murphy said the state's approach helps explain why an analysis by The Associated Press of its stimulus spending found that only around one-third of the bridges selected are considered structurally deficient or obsolete.

AP found that nationwide, tens of thousands of unsafe or decaying bridges await repairs. But of the 2,476 bridges selected by states to receive stimulus money so far, nearly half have passed inspections with high marks and so normally would not qualify for federal bridge money.

The analysis relied on the latest bridge inspection result from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Those records show that of West Virginia's more than 7,060 spans, 1,064, or 15 percent, are considered structurally deficient while 1,529, or 21.6 percent, are functionally obsolete.

Half of the $39.8 million that the Mountain State has earmarked for its bridges will go to replace 26 spans. Of those, three have been deemed obsolete and 21 deficient.

But of 40 bridges marked for new decking of latex-modified concrete, just four are rated as obsolete and one as deficient. The remaining 21 spans on the list are due painting and cleaning; 18 of those are not considered deficient.

"We wanted at least two-thirds of it to go to preservation," Murphy said. "If you don't do those kinds of work, you'll get a bridge that becomes structurally deficient in a very short period of time."

Those ailing bridges left off the stimulus list include a circa-1900 wooden-decked span over a Berkeley County rail line. While about 2,700 vehicles cross the bridge each day, they must do so one at a time because of its narrow width, cracked decking and missing steel poles.

Murphy said that bridge is included in the state's six-year plan, and his department started designing its replacement in January. Officials have also been in talks with CSX Corp. about relocating its site, and plan to begin building the new bridge in 2010, he said.

Murphy estimated that West Virginia spends $100 million annually on bridge work, with about 60 percent of that federal aid and the rest from the State Road Fund. But he also pegged the state's total bridge-related needs at $6 billion.

"We realize that there's 1.8 million people in the state, and they can give only so much," Murphy said. "We have a tremendous number of needs. We are trying to maintain our level of spending so we can keep up with as much as we can."

Like most everywhere else, West Virginia has seen its road budget falter. The reasons vary. Increasingly efficient vehicles reduce visits to the pump, and with them fuel tax proceeds. So do high gas prices, which also increase the cost of petroleum-derived asphalt.

A report earlier this month from TRIP, a nonprofit, Washington, D.C.-based transportation research group, helped highlight the fiscal picture: West Virginia needs $9.75 billion between now and 2018 to improve roads and bridges, but can identify only about $5 billion worth of funding.

West Virginians for Better Transportation, an alliance of industry players and other interested parties, has highlighted the state's road and bridge needs. Group Chairman Joe Denault said he sees sense in the state's tapping of stimulus funds to supplement its own spending, particularly for preventive maintenance.

"(But) the stimulus, even if it was twice the size, would not have solved our problem," said Denault, a former DOH official. "The scale of the funding problem is so large, you would need something long-term, with considerably more money."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
State is expecting $4B from stimulus package
19 August 2009
The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah is expecting about $4 billion to flow into the state as a result of the federal stimulus package between direct incentives and tax cuts in the coming years.

John Nixon, Gov. Gary Herbert's budget director, told a legislative committee that the state has committed about $350 million of the stimulus money. The bulk of that funding is going to road construction.

"Utah is really doing a good job, a better job than most states, of getting the money obligated and spent out there in the economy," Nixon said.

In the coming months and years, the state is anticipating receiving $1.7 billion in grants and economic stabilization funds. Another $2 billion is anticipated to remain in the state as a result of a federal tax cut -- $400 per individual taxpayer, $800 per couple.

On Tuesday, Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) Director John Njord told legislative leaders that the state had received about $200 million for transportation projects and that 95 percent of the money -- about $190 million -- had been allocated for projects that are either under construction or will be soon.

"We're one of those four states in the entire nation that are moving these things faster than anyone else," he said.

He said there are about 100 projects in the pipeline, most of them pavement and bridge rehabilitation.

Mike Mower, the governor's planning director, said the state has used stimulus funds to hire 77 people to weather-proof homes for low- income residents. He said $624 million has been spent in Utah by nonstate entities -- for example, the Interior Department has done repairs to national parks. Stimulus money also has been used to begin the relocation of the Atlas tailings pile near Moab.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Repair, replacement work begins on aging Idaho bridges
20 July 2009
Idaho Business Review

Repair or replacement work on three Idaho bridges with a combined age of 174 years began this month.

The biggest project is the $21.6 million replacement of the 72-year-old Dover Bridge, which has been labeled one of the worst bridges in America. The northern Idaho structure has a sufficiency rating of three on a scale of 100, according to a press release from the Idaho Transportation Department.

Crews from apparent low bidder Sletten Construction of Great Falls, Mont., were scheduled to break ground on the bridge on July 22 with Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter in attendance.

"For too long the Dover Bridge has been a safety threat to our citizens and restricted the economic growth of northern Idaho," Otter said in the release.

"While in Congress, I supported dedicating $3 million in federal bridge funds to help build a new structure," he said. "I am pleased we are finally replacing this bottleneck, improving safety and creating jobs."

The project is funded by federal stimulus money and is projected to create or sustain approximately 400 jobs. Emergency repairs were made to the bridge surface in 1994, 1999 and 2007. ITD began work to replace the bridge in 1979, but it ran out of money before construction began.

Work is scheduled to be complete by the fall of 2011.

Also beginning this month, the 43-year-old Five Mile Bridge over Interstate 84 in Boise is being resurfaced and repaired and the 59-year-old Blaser Highway Bridge in Bannock County is being replaced.

Trinity Construction of Boise began work on the $275,000 Five Mile project July 13. Work is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 3.

The bridge will be closed completely while work progresses.

The "get in, get out" approach is designed to reduce construction time from 40 days to about 25, to restore traffic flow earlier and to reduce costs for traffic-control procedures, according to an ITD release.

The project will rehabilitate the bridge deck, repair deteriorated pavement, extend the life of the structure and smooth out the bumps.

Additional improvements (such as more lanes, bike lanes or sidewalks) would require total replacement of the bridge, which is not feasible with current funding.

Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction of Draper, Utah, began work on the $1.1 million Blaser Highway Bridge replacement on July 15.

Crews will build a new northbound side of the bridge first, after which traffic will shift over to the new surface and construction will continue on the southbound side of the bridge.

Completion is expected in mid-October.

Credit: IBR Staff Report

The "get in, get out" approach is designed to reduce construction time from 40 days to about 25, to restore traffic flow earlier and to reduce costs for traffic-control procedures, according to an ITD release.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bridge safety: Illinois puts inspection summaries online
By Jon Hilkevitch, Chicago Tribune
5 October 2009

Oct. 5--Ever since the 2007 collapse of an interstate highway spanning the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Illinois officials have kept quiet about the deteriorating condition of many bridges here, citing security concerns in an era of terrorist threats.

Now we're finally getting a peek at what risks may be lurking under or within Illinois bridges. Newly released inspection data reveal some details about what's specifically wrong with many of the state's deficient bridges, and thus what rehab work is required to keep them safe. Notably, part of the Congress Parkway bridge over the Chicago River received the lowest possible rating for a span allowed to remain in service.

Some of the news is actually reassuring for a state with a long record of struggling to keep its roads and bridges up to snuff. Illinois Department of Transportation officials told Getting Around that the overall number of bridges with poor marks for upkeep has come down by a small margin in the past year, while there is more money available for repairs from federal stimulus and state sources.

Those overall tallies are updated annually. What's been kept quiet, until now, are the details.

Illinois officials blocked the public from accessing timely data about the specific condition of thousands of bridges in the state two years ago, after 13 people died and about 145 others were hurt in Minneapolis when the Interstate Highway 35W bridge over the Mississippi collapsed on Aug. 1, 2007.

Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the Tribune and public watchdog groups seeking inspection records were rejected, leaving interested parties no options except to wade through outdated inspection summaries the state provided to the Federal Highway Administration.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration cited homeland security concerns, saying terrorists could potentially use the information to blow up major bridges in Chicago that carry thousands of vehicles each day, including the Congress Parkway bridge feeding traffic onto the Eisenhower Expressway ( Interstate Highway 290) or the double-deck Wacker Drive winding through downtown.

Critics countered that the governor and the Illinois Department of Transportation had a different motive: Hiding the truth about the dismal condition of some bridges.

Now, for the first time, information summarizing inspection findings is available. It can be viewed online, at http://wrc.dot.il.gov/bridgeinformation/main.aspx

It marks an about-face by Illinois officials intent on reassuring drivers that safe crossings are virtually guaranteed, even where weight restrictions have been imposed because the bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

Officials said there is now a backlog of 1,582 state bridges rated as structurally deficient, which means they are safe but can no longer hold the weight for which they were originally designed, and/or functionally obsolete, indicating the bridges do not meet current design standards. That number stood at 1,605 last year, in a total IDOT inventory of about 7,700 state-maintained bridges, officials said.

Also last year, there was a backlog of 674 bridges that needed repairs or major overhauls.

Of the 26,276 total bridges in the state, 4,393 are ranked as structurally deficient and/or functionally obsolete, according to records IDOT compiled. That's down from 4,433 last year.

Federal regulations require bridges to be inspected every two years. Substandard bridges are inspected more frequently.

With new funding flowing for infrastructure upgrades, the state is playing catch-up by accelerating the bridge-repair schedule. "We end up with a backlog of structures because some bridges are in the holding pen waiting to be repaired or replaced based on funding being made available," said Todd Ahrens, bridge planning engineer at IDOT. "Others will be needing work, but they aren't yet bad enough to be eligible for federal funding.

"But we will not leave an unsafe bridge open to traffic," he said.

With aggressive state plans now in place to spend an estimated $2.5 billion on bridge rehabilitation work and new bridges over the next six years, Gov. Pat Quinn and IDOT are lifting the veil of secrecy that previously existed.

"The I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis was a wake-up call," said Dick Smith, IDOT's director of planning and programming. Thanks to federal stimulus funding and a new state capital improvement plan, "Now we have a lot more money to get things going and advance the bridge-rehabilitation work," Smith said.

At the end of fiscal 2015, some 94 percent of state-maintained bridges will be in "acceptable condition," up from 91 percent in 2008, according to IDOT. The backlog will be whittled down to 520 bridges waiting for repairs. The anticipated investment of $2.5 billion in Illinois bridges will pay for replacing or rehabbing 850 bridges, constructing 55 new bridges and making minor structural repairs on 560 bridges, IDOT said.

"The number of bridges in the backlog are continually shifting because as we replace and repair some bridges, others will deteriorate over time," Ahrens said.

IDOT's new bridge information Web site provides inspection data and assessments on all state-maintained bridges. Excluded from the list are more than 18,500 bridges that are under the jurisdiction of municipalities, townships, counties, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority or the Chicago Skyway, officials said.

Transportation officials say the Web site represents a move to increase transparency and accountability.

But it's also a tacit admission that boatloads of information that potential terrorists could use to plot attacks on bridges -- including the lengths of the spans and how many vehicles each of them carries daily -- are available on Google Maps and other Internet sites.

In fact, while IDOT is offering expanded disclosure on bridge information, some detailed information regarding problems with bridges is still not being reported.

"There are a number of things we have redacted," Ahrens said. "Inspector remarks are still internal documents."

By going online, the public may search for bridges by county, highway, address or structure number; or browse maps for a specific bridge. Bridge vertical-clearance information is also posted.

Every structure is rated on a 0-to-9 scale for the condition of its deck, or driving surface; the superstructure, the main load-carrying beams and other parts of the bridge; and the substructure, which includes piers, columns and other elements below the superstructure.

"Zero" is a failing grade requiring the closing of a bridge. A "9" means the bridge is in excellent condition, while "1" could warrant a closing or severe restrictions.

Segments of the Congress Parkway bridge over the south branch of the Chicago River downtown scored the lowest possible "sufficiency rating" during the most recent inspection in August, Ahrens said.

The overall structural evaluation turned up a rating of "2," which the report said is "intolerable -- high priority for replacement." With frequent inspections, the state says it remains safe.

The 53-year-old bridge, which carries an average of 139,000 vehicles daily, received a score of "4" on the 9-point scale for its deck and superstructure, both of which were noted as being in "poor condition -- advanced deterioration."

IDOT has allocated about $25 million to rehab the entire Congress bridge starting next year and running through 2015.

The project, along with rebuilding the deteriorating north-south leg of Wacker Drive from Randolph Street to Congress, are priorities for IDOT and the city.

"We don't work on good bridges," Ahrens said.

Contact Getting Around at [email protected] or c/o the Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611. Read recent columns at www.chicagotribune.com/gettingaround

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To see more of the Chicago Tribune, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.chicagotribune.com.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
State reduces bridges in disrepair
2-year rebuilding project cuts total from 543 to 494

19 March 2010
The Boston Globe

The Patrick Administration announced yesterday that it has reduced the number of structurally deficient bridges in Massachusetts from 543 to 494, with the help of a major bridge rebuilding program initiated in May 2008.

Structurally deficient bridges became a statewide and national concern following the fatal Minneapolis bridge collapse of 2007 that killed 13 people and injured 145.

In Massachusetts, the number of structurally deficient bridges had been on the rise in recent years, as the old structures deteriorated faster than the government could afford to fix them. Officials had been projecting that the state would have 700 structurally deficient bridges by 2016.

But two years ago, in response to the concerns, the state launched its Accelerated Bridge Program, pledging to spend $3 billion over eight years to reduce the number of structurally deficient bridges to 450 by 2016.

The state's yearly investment in bridges has more than doubled to $1.085 billion this year, said the Patrick Administration.

"After decades of neglect, this historic investment is well on its way to rebuilding hundreds of the Commonwealth's bridges, putting people to work, and delivering projects faster and more efficiently than ever before," Governor Deval Patrick said.

There are 5,500 bridges in Massachusetts, including 200 built in the 19th century. The obligation to pay off Big Dig debt has hurt the state's ability to maintain and repair bridges.

The program that has helped boost bridge repair is financed in part by $1.1 billion borrowed against future federal grants.
 

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Bridges deteriorate amid funding crunch
12 March 2010
Anderson Independent-Mail

Declining tax revenue and a lack of federal money continue to plague local governments that are struggling to maintain deteriorating bridges, according to an annual study conducted by AAA of the Carolinas and information provided by the Anderson County transportation division.

According to AAA, 21 percent of South Carolina's 1,964 bridges are considered to be below the federal standard. Spokesman Brendan Burns said bridges are evaluated according to their sufficiency rating and average daily traffic.

"A bridge's sufficiency rating is on a 100-point scale. It is the grade the United States Department of Transportation gives a bridge based on a national standard," he said. "Each individual state also has inspectors that grade on that standard.

"The lower the number, the weaker the bridge. And bridges with lower sufficiency ratings that carry higher daily traffic volumes are the ones that rank highest on the list."

Of the top 20 most substandard bridges in South Carolina - none of which are in Anderson County - the one at the top of the list is the 58-year-old bridge over the C.N. and L. railroad on Interstate 26 in Richland County.

More than 70,000 vehicles travel on this bridge daily, according to the AAA study. The bridge is about three miles northwest of Columbia.

"The bridges that are really bad and carry a lot of people rank highest on the list," Burns said.

The steady decline in South Carolina's infrastructure, he said, is a lack of transportation funding necessary to pay for costly bridge repair or replacement projects.

"A lack of state funding, which is driven primarily by gas tax, has been behind the need for decades," Burns said."This forces state DOTs to prioritize bridges based on which bridges need repairs the worst. This means proper maintenance and new projects that are needed fall by the wayside. It's a very reactionary situation.

"In South Carolina, where the gas tax hasn't risen since 1987, bridge funding is stuck. Combine one of the nation's lowest gas taxes with high unemployment and an overall decline in gasoline use, and the funding has taken an even higher hit. Cheaper gas is a positive for consumers, but the price comes at the expense of our infrastructure."

According to the South Carolina Department of Transportation, for every gallon of gas sold, 16 cents is collected by the state, meaning the tax does not go up or down based on the cost of a gallon of fuel.

This tax makes up 73 percent of the department's state funding for projects.

According to Anderson County transportation officials, a lack of tax revenue is one of two factors affecting bridge conditions.

Judy Shelato, principal engineer at the Anderson County transportation division, said the other factor is the way federal money received from the Federal Highway Administration, including more than $26 billion in stimulus funds dedicated to road and bridge projects nationwide, is used by the state transportation department.

But, because of the way the law is worded, the state transportation department hangs on to that money, she said.

Under South Carolina law, the cost of repairing and maintaining county-owned highways and bridges is the responsibility of the county.

According to Shelato, however, 15 percent of the $600 million in annual funding South Carolina receives from the Federal Highway Administration should go to local bridge replacement.

"Fifteen percent of the funding the state receives in federal highway money must go to secondary roads in counties and municipalities," Shelato said. "But, because of the way the law is worded, the state department of transportation interprets it to mean that money should go only to the secondary roads that they own and are responsible for, not secondary roads counties and municipalities are responsible for."

Shelato, who worked as a county bridge and roads engineer in Illinois and Wisconsin prior to joining the Anderson County transportation division, said her experience in those states, which had "fair and equitable" dispersal of federal money, "does not apply in South Carolina."

Shelato said that, according to the AAA data, "13 percent of state-maintained bridges are now considered deficient compared with up to 30 percent for county and municipal bridges, and the majority of those bridges are located in the Upstate and Midlands and not the Lowcountry. The reason for this is that the majority of bridges in the lowcountry counties are state-owned roads."

In Anderson County, 25 bridges are classified by engineers as being structurally deficient and 25 are structurally obsolete.

An estimated 12,000 vehicles cross over these bridges everyday, according to the AAA.

"What this means," said county bridge engineer Thulasi Vinayagam,"is that these bridges have warnings posted to motorists advising them that they cannot pass over if their vehicle exceeds a certain weight."

At the 50-year-old Broadway Lake Bridge, which is considered structurally obsolete, Vinayagam said the load restriction posted there prohibits any vehicle weighing more than 3,000 pounds to pass.

"This would mean that a fire truck or school bus should not cross," she said. "But, it is a busy road."

According to the Anderson County transportation division, more than 1,300 vehicles cross the bridge every day.

At the weight-restricted Simmons Ford Road Bridge in northwest Anderson County near Townville, 150 vehicles cross every day.

This bridge, in the words of one transportation department employee, "looked bad enough to scare even me," during a recent inspection.

In the scramble for money needed to repair or replace these bridges, Shelato said the county office has resorted to requesting funds from Anderson County's Congressional delegation in Washington.

"Since we do not have access to state-funded projects, we appeal to our Congressmen," she said.

Since 2002, Anderson County has received more than $6.8 million in direct federal funding to pay for road and bridge projects, including $282,600 for the Cox Road Bridge replacement project in 2005 and the $400,000 Parker Bowie Road Bridge replacement in 2009.

Another $10.2 million was recently requested through the office of U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett, R-S.C., according to the Anderson County Finance Division.

Of the $10.2 million requested, $1.25 million would go to replace the Simmons Ford Road Bridge.

Another $84,500 would pay for a conceptual design for replacing the Broadway Lake Bridge and Dam.

"The bridge cannot be replaced without also replacing the locks," said Tony Owens with the Anderson County transportation division.

Anderson County Council member Gracie Floyd, whose district includes Broadway Lake Bridge, said she has been working to get money for repairs for almost a decade. She said a team of county officials, including Hopkins and Owens, went to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Savannah, Ga., in January to talk about how to get funding.

Floyd said Hopkins let her know Wednesday that the Corps will be responding in writing early next week with an outline for a way forward.

"I felt more confident when I left Savannah then I do now because of the time that took place between when they said we'd get the paperwork and the fact is we still haven't got it," Floyd said.

Floyd said that matching funds could be required for the project but could be given through inkind contributions instead of money but that funding was the biggest obstacle to fixing what she called the most dangerous bridge in her district.

Funding for bridge projects also could come from local referendum, said interim County Administrator Rusty Burns.

Burns said the one-cent sales tax, also called the Penny Tax, would be a local way of funding transportation and bridge projects.

Anderson County's referendum on a 1-cent sales tax proposed in 2008 was voted down, Burns said.

"And, in the current economic atmosphere, no responsible government entity is going to raise taxes," he said.

In the meantime, the employees of the Anderson County transportation division do their best to post weight restrictions, conduct regular safety inspections, and hope for more money to repair or replace the county's ailing bridges.

"We've got great employees," Judy Shelato said. "We're ready to do the work, but we need the funding. Bring it on."
 
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