The Federal Highway Administration has moved from an agency dedicated to road construction and design to one of road steward. The 1998 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) called attention to this stewardship role by implementing programs designed to increase the use of high-performance materials to reduce construction and maintenance time and costs. The ultimate goal of this legislation is to improve the nation's mobility and productivity-while enhancing driver safety.
The Innovative Bridge Research and Construction (IBRC) Program was initially established under TEA-21 as a 6-year program that provides direction and funding to help local and country road agencies, as well as State DOTs, defray the cost of incorporating innovative materials and materials technologies in bridge repair, rehabilitation, replacement, and new construction. The program was extended for one additional year by the Surface Transportation Extension Act (STEA) of 2003. The legislation establishes seven program goals to emphasize the role of these high-performance materials and construction techniques in reducing maintenance and life-cycle costs. Authorized funding levels for the program are:
|FY 1998||FY 1999||FY 2000||FY 2001||FY 2002||FY 2003||FY 2004*|
|Research||$ 1 M||$ 1 M||$ 1 M||$ 1 M||$ 1 M||$ 1 M||$ 1 M|
|Construction||$ 10 M||$ 15 M||$ 17 M||$ 20 M||$ 20 M||$ 20 M||$ 20 M|
* via the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004( P.L. 108-199 ); however, at the current time, only 7/12ths of the 2004 amounts are authorized under the program.
Bridges on all public roads, including State and locally funded projects, are eligible for IBRC funding. All applications, however, must be submitted through the State Department of Transportation. Funds can be requested for preliminary engineering and construction work, although construction work is given priority consideration. IBRC can be used to fund the Federal share of the cost of construction for the innovative materials portion on a project. An important component of the program is documentation and monitoring of the material, and these costs are also eligible under IBRC.
The Project Database, in the Resources section of this web site, contains information on FY 1998-2003 projects funded under previous solicitations.