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

Thursday, April 25, 2002
Contact: Jim Pinkelman
Telephone: 202-366-0660
FHWA 15-02

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mineta Announces Funds for Hoan Bridge Repair

MILWAUKEE-Continuing a strong federal partnership with the state of Wisconsin, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta in Milwaukee today joined Gov. Scott McCallum to announce $12 million in federal discretionary funds to help cover the costs of repair work done on 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 made the repair of the Hoan Bridge a priority, and the funds we are providing today will help to reimburse the state for restoration work on this critical artery for Milwaukee."

The Hoan Bridge is eligible for funding under the Discretionary Bridge Program, one of 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.

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

On Dec. 13, 2000, two of the three girders on one of the bridge's twin approach spans failed, causing the deck to sag several feet and forcing the bridge to be closed to all traffic. After the structure was declared unstable, the failed span was demolished in a controlled demolition. On Feb. 17, 2001, Wisconsin DOT opened the bridge's southbound span to one lane of light vehicular traffic in each direction. The bridge was opened to full capacity on Oct. 11, 2001, four days ahead of plan.

The FHWA worked in partnership with Wisconsin DOT, Lehigh and Northwestern Universities, and independent consultants to determine the cause of the bridge failure. An initial report was completed in June 2001 and a final, more detailed research report is due out in June 2002.


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