July 9, 2012

GGB SUICIDE BARRIER NET PROJECT NOW ELIGIBLE FOR FEDERAL FUNDS

 

With the recent passage of the new, multi-year transportation authorization bill by Congress, bill now provides language that offers broad eligibility for a much broader range of projects on the Bridge. Also the Conference Committee Report includes language that expressly provides that nets are eligible for federal funding. While the bill does not include earmarks, it does broaden the Bridge’s eligibility for federal highway funds. In the past the Bridge has been only eligible for federal funds under the Highway Bridge Program (HBP, formerly HBRRP).

The final design process is now underway for the Suicide Barrier Net System project for the Golden Gate Bridge and will be completed in 2013.

Here are some relevant sections from the bill with key text highlighted.

SEC. 1111. NATIONAL BRIDGE AND TUNNEL INVENTORY AND INSPECTION
STANDARDS.

‘‘(e) BRIDGES WITHOUT TAXING POWERS.

‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of
law, any bridge that is owned and operated by an agency that
does not have taxing powers and whose functions include operating
a federally assisted public transit system subsidized by
toll revenues shall be eligible for assistance under this title,
but
the amount of such assistance shall in no event exceed the cumulative
amount which such agency has expended for capital
and operating costs to subsidize such transit system.
‘‘(2) INSUFFICIENT ASSETS.—Before authorizing an expenditure
of funds under this subsection, the Secretary shall determine
that the applicant agency has insufficient reserves, surpluses,
and projected revenues (over and above those required
for bridge and transit capital and operating costs) to fund the
bridge project or activity eligible for assistance under this title.
‘‘(3) CREDITING OF NON-FEDERAL FUNDS.—Any non-Federal
funds expended for the seismic retrofit of the bridge may be
credited toward the non-Federal share required as a condition
of receipt of any Federal funds for seismic retrofit of the bridge
made available after the date of the expenditure.

SEC. 1108. SURFACE TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM.
(a) ELIGIBLE PROJECTS.—Section 133(b) of title 23, United
States Code, is amended—

(1) in the matter preceding paragraph (1) by striking ‘‘section
104(b)(3)’’ and inserting ‘‘section 104(b)(2)’’;
(2) by striking paragraph (1);
(3) by redesignating paragraphs (2) through (15) as paragraphs
(5) through (18), respectively;
(4) by inserting before paragraph (5) (as so redesignated)
the following:
‘‘(1) Construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, resurfacing,
restoration, preservation, or operational improvements
for highways, including construction of designated routes of the
Appalachian development highway system and local access
roads under section 14501 of title 40.
‘‘(2) Replacement (including replacement with fill material),
rehabilitation, preservation, protection (including painting,
scour countermeasures, seismic retrofits, impact protection
measures, security countermeasures, and protection against extreme
events) and application of calcium magnesium acetate,
sodium acetate/formate, or other environmentally acceptable,
minimally corrosive anti-icing and deicing compositions for
bridges (and approaches to bridges and other elevated structures)
and tunnels on public roads of all functional classifications,
including any such construction or reconstruction necessary
to accommodate other transportation modes.
‘‘(3) Construction of a new bridge or tunnel at a new location
on a Federal-aid highway.
‘‘(4) Inspection and evaluation of bridges and tunnels and
training of bridge and tunnel inspectors (as defined in section
144), and inspection and evaluation of other highway assets (including
signs, retaining walls, and drainage structures).’’;
(5) by striking paragraph (6) (as so redesignated) and inserting
the following:
‘‘(6) Carpool projects, fringe and corridor parking facilities
and programs, including electric vehicle and natural gas vehicle
infrastructure in accordance with section 137, bicycle transportation
and pedestrian walkways in accordance with section
217, and the modifications of public sidewalks to comply with
the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101
et seq.).’’;
(6) by striking paragraph (7) (as so redesignated) and inserting
the following:
‘‘(7) Highway and transit safety infrastructure improvements
and programs, installation of safety barriers and nets on
bridges,
hazard eliminations, projects to mitigate hazards
caused by wildlife, and railway-highway grade crossings.’’