Department of transportation grants $24 million for Otay Mesa bridge project

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A $24 million grant was announced today for a bridge project in San Diego as part of the federal Infrastructure Law’s Bridge Investment Program.

Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Andrew Rogers visit San Diego on Thursday to announce the funding for the San Diego bridge project, a 50-year- old Palm Avenue overcrossing, a key connector for the Otay-Mesa-Nestor community and only a few miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

The funding is intended to make improvements to reduce traffic delays and increase freight movements, while reducing long-term maintenance costs. More than 38,000 vehicles cross the bridge every day and the White House estimated that this project will create more than $30 million in benefits from reduced congestion and traffic delays on this critical route.

The announcement followed the opening of the new West Mission Bay Drive Bridge, attended by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu.

“This Bipartisan Infrastructure Law grant will help us upgrade this aging, 50-year-old bridge, improving traffic flow and making it safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike,” Gloria said.

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration’s grants of nearly $300 million for nine bridge projects in eight states and the District of Columbia.

“Ensuring we constantly invest in San Diego’s infrastructure to adequately meet the needs of residents is of the utmost importance,” said Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego. “These $24 million in federal funds will help revitalize and improve the Palm Avenue / I-805 Bridge and will also fund other much-needed mobility projects in the surrounding area.”

Specifically, the money granted Thursday will reconfigure the bridge to allow additional left turn lane space, install six-foot-wide sidewalks and separated bike lanes, realign off- and on-ramps and install bus stop sidewalk landings, among other improvements.

“Thank you to President Biden’s Administration for the $24 million infrastructure investment in our community,” said Nora Vargas, chairwoman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “These types of investments from our federal government are critical so that we can advance projects that improve the safety and quality of life for all San Diegans.”

Vice President Kamala Harris announced the grants at the Arland D. Williams Jr. Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C.

“When bridges have to close for repairs — or worse, begin to fail — it can cut off access to an entire community, adding hours to commutes, costing money for local businesses, and delaying first responders from getting to an emergency,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The grant awards we’re announcing today are helping communities of all sizes modernize their bridges so that school buses, delivery trucks, ambulances, and commuters can get where they need to go quickly and safely.”

The bridge project in San Diego is expected to reduce traffic delays and improve freight movement, and reduce maintenance costs. It is estimated to create over $30 million in benefits from reduced congestion and traffic delays, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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