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Bridges & Structures

Subject: ACTION: Implementation of FY 2021 Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program Date: January 19, 2021
From: Electronic Signature of Joseph Lawrence Hartmann Joseph L. Hartmann, P.E., Ph.D.
Director, Office of Bridges and Structures
In Reply Refer To: HIBS-30
To: Division Administrators


This memorandum provides guidance for the implementation of a bridge replacement and rehabilitation program authorized in the Department of Transportation Appropriations Act, 2021, title I of division L, Public Law 116-260 ("2021 Appropriations Act" or "the Act"). This guidance clarifies eligible projects.


The 2021 Appropriations Act appropriated $1,080,000,000 for a bridge replacement and rehabilitation program. The Act requires these funds to be distributed to any of the 50 States or the District of Columbia, such that no State shall receive more than $60,000,000 and each State shall receive an amount not less than $6,000,000. The FHWA Notice N4510.852 (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/notices/) provides more information on the formula to distribute these funds and statutory requirements that are applicable to these funds.


Eligible projects in qualifying States are highway bridge replacement and rehabilitation projects on public roads. For construction phase of these eligible projects, the funds should be obligated with FMIS Improvement Type codes 10 – Bridge Replacement and 13 – Bridge Rehabilitation. For purposes of this program the following definitions apply for State, Public road, Highway, Bridge, Replacement, and Rehabilitation:

  • "State" is defined in the Act as any of the 50 States or the District of Columbia for this program.
  • "Public road" is defined in 23 United States Code (U.S.C.) 101(a)(22) as any road or street under the jurisdiction of and maintained by a public authority and open to public travel.
  • "Highway" is defined in 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(11) as a road, street, and parkway; a right-of-way, bridge, railroad-highway crossing, tunnel, drainage structure, including public roads on dams, sign, guardrail, and protective structure, in connection with a highway; and a portion of any interstate or international bridge or tunnel and the approaches thereto, the cost of which is assumed by a State transportation department, including such facilities as may be required by the United States Customs and Immigration Services in connection with the operation of an international bridge or tunnel.
  • "Bridge" is defined in 23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 650.305 as a structure including supports erected over a depression or an obstruction, such as water, highway, or railway, and having a track or passageway for carrying traffic or other moving loads, and having an opening measuring along the center of the roadway of more than 20 feet between undercopings of abutments or spring lines of arches, or extreme ends of openings for multiple boxes; it may also include multiple pipe culverts, where the clear distance between openings is less than half of the smaller contiguous opening.
  • "Replacement" is defined in 23 CFR 650.405 as total replacement of a bridge with a new facility constructed in the same general traffic corridor. A nominal amount of approach work, sufficient to connect the new facility to the existing roadway or to return the gradeline to an attainable touchdown point in accordance with good design practice, is also eligible. The replacement structure must meet the current geometric, construction and structural standards required for the types and volume of projected traffic on the facility over its design life.
  • "Rehabilitation" is defined in 23 CFR 650.405 as the project requirements necessary to perform the major work required to restore the structural integrity of a bridge as well as the work necessary to correct major safety defects except as noted in 23 CFR 650.405(c) under ineligible work. Examples of bridge rehabilitation include, but are not limited to: partial or complete deck replacement, superstructure replacement, and substructure/culvert strengthening or partial/full replacement. Incidental widening is often associated with some of these activities.

If you have any questions, please contact Shay Burrows (202-366-4675 or shay.burrows@dot.gov) or Douglas Blades (202-366-4622 or douglas.blades@dot.gov).

Directors of Field Services
Director of Technical Services
Joseph Krolak, HIBS-20
Derek Soden, HIBS-10
Peter Stephanos, HISM
Brian Fouch, HICP
Christopher Newman, HISM-30

Updated: 04/13/2022
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000