By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Aug. 29 awarded $225 million in grants to 20 highway bridge replacement or rehabilitation projects in 18 states.

The agency’s Competitive Highway Bridge Program (CHBP) is aimed at projects that are in areas with population density of less than 100 people per square mile and “demonstrate cost savings by bundling at least two highway bridge projects into a single contract.”

For example, the Douglass County Bridge project, 200 miles south of Portland, Oregon, will receive $16.5 million.

“The grant is a good first step toward fixing the infrastructure for the residents of Douglas County, who, like so many people across our country, have been dealing with outdated and structurally deficient bridges in their communities for far too long,” said U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.). “The reality is, there are tens of thousands of bridges across the United States, including more in Douglas County, that need urgent attention.”

In a news release about the grant, DeFazio also cited ARTBA’s 2019 Bridge Report, which found 5.2 percent of Oregon’s 8,161 bridges are structurally deficient, including 167 in his district. Nationwide, ARTBA’s report showed 18,842, or one in three, interstate bridges need repair.

Here’s the full list of 2019 CHBP awardees.