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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday April 6, 2001
Contact: Jim Pinkelman
Telephone: 202-366-0660
FHWA 14-01

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mineta Accepts Application From Wisconsin For Funds to Repair Hoan Bridge

MILWAUKEE - Reaffirming a strong federal partnership with the state of Wisconsin, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today accepted an application from Gov. Scott McCallum for federal discretionary funds to help rebuild the Daniel Webster Hoan Bridge in Milwaukee.

"Bridges are a vital link in America's transportation system, and we recognize the importance of the Hoan Bridge to Milwaukee's transportation network," Secretary Mineta said. "President Bush considers fixing the Hoan Bridge a priority, and we will work with Gov. McCallum and the state to identify the quickest way to rebuild this critical artery for Milwaukee."

The Hoan Bridge, which collapsed Dec. 13, is eligible for funding under several discretionary funding categories administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

FHWA discretionary funds are made available to projects after being selected by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation based on criteria established by federal law and U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) regulations and procedures. Congress also makes decisions on some grants.

Secretary Mineta said that the department would give the project serious consideration during the review process for discretionary funds and will continue to work closely with Wisconsin to ensure that the bridge is fully repaired as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

About 37,000 motorists travel over the dual-span Hoan Bridge each day. The bridge, which opened in 1977, carries I-794 over the Menomonee River. It connects the Bay View neighborhood and the southeastern suburbs to downtown and other major freeways.

On Dec. 13, 2000, two of the three girders on one of the Hoan Bridge twin approach spans failed. After the structure was declared unstable, the failed span was demolished in a controlled demolition. On Feb. 17, 2001, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation opened the southbound span to one lane of light vehicular traffic in each direction.

The FHWA also is helping to conduct an in-depth forensic examination to determine what caused the bridge's failure. The agency is working in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Lehigh and Northwestern universities, and independent consultants.

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