Press Releases

Miami, FL — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) led members of the Florida congressional delegation in urging U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to reconsider Florida’s funding allotment for bridge improvements as provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s Bridge Formula Program. The letter follows the administration’s announcement that Florida would be allotted $245 million for bridge repairs -- less than one percent of total bridge funding, despite Florida being home to approximately 6.5 percent of the American population. The total amount is also significantly less than Florida normally receives for highway funding and less than other states with smaller populations that have a similar or lower number of bridges in need of repair.
 
“More transparency in how the Biden Administration is allotting funding would be welcome, as claims that the calculation is based on the number of bridges in disrepair do not hold water,” the lawmakers wrote. “States that have similar numbers or even fewer bridges in need of repair, such as Washington and Connecticut, are set to receive larger sums. Any reasonable person can agree that the worst maintained bridges require attention, but the Biden Administration’s Bridge Formula Program does nothing to address questions of why other states have historically failed to provide repairs as needed or to encourage a more proactive approach to their transportation infrastructure in the first place.”
 
The full text of the letter is below. 
 
Dear Secretary Buttigieg:
 
We write to convey disappointment with the insufficient, $245-million allotment for bridge improvements in the State of Florida and strongly urge the Biden Administration to reconsider this sum. As currently planned, Florida is set to receive less than 1 percent of the approximately $26.5 billion in federal funding through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s Bridge Formula Program, a far lower proportion than the 4.78 percent Florida normally receives in highway funding. Accounting for those registered on the State Highway System, as well as others off-system, our state is presently home to more than 12,000 bridges, 408 of which the Biden Administration has identified as in poor condition, but all of which will require critical maintenance in the years and decades to come.
 
More transparency in how the Biden Administration is allotting funding would be welcome, as claims that the calculation is based on the number of bridges in disrepair do not hold water. States that have similar numbers or even fewer bridges in need of repair, such as Washington and Connecticut, are set to receive larger sums. Any reasonable person can agree that the worst maintained bridges require attention, but the Biden Administration’s Bridge Formula Program does nothing to address questions of why other states have historically failed to provide repairs as needed or to encourage a more proactive approach to their transportation infrastructure in the first place.
 
Given these disparities, it is hard to avoid the impression that Florida – which routinely ranks among the top five states nationwide in keeping its bridges in safe shape – is being punished for its effective maintenance. Good federal transportation policy should aim to incentivize states to work hand-in-hand with the federal government when tackling infrastructure, not penalize them for responsibly attending to their own transportation needs. Furthermore, Florida, now the third most populous state in the nation, continues to grow at record rates. This reality is a risk that will strain our road infrastructure in years to come, bridges in particular. A sum of $245 million distributed over 5 years will prove far from sufficient to addressing this. We therefore urge you to reverse this unfair allocation.
 
Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to your prompt response. 
 
Sincerely,