Congressman Eric Swalwell spoke of how the Biden Administration’s new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help upgrade bridges, overpasses, roads and public transportation throughout California.
As a result of the Infrastructure Law, California will receive $4.2 billion over the next five years to upgrade some of its bridges. It is not known at this stage whether this will include funding for the Washington Avenue Bridge near Lewelling Boulevard, where Swalwell spoke.
“To get 68 votes in the Senate in this era of American politics, that’s not easy, and so I think those senators recognize that the need was out there,” Swalwell said, referring to the final vote to pass the new law. “There’s compromise on both sides.”
The Washington Avenue Bridge connects Swalwell’s district to Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s district. Swalwell and Lee co-chair the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee together.
“As a Bay Area delegation, we don’t cannibalize each other’s projects; we try and work together,” he said. “We’re a team because we recognize that this is a mega-region that is not only just the greater East Bay, South Bay, Peninsula and San Francisco, but it now extends to San Joaquin County.”
The Washington Avenue Bridge was chosen as an example because it is in one of the worst conditions of the bridges in the 15th Congressional District, according to Swalwell. There are an estimated 31,000 vehicle crossings over it every day. If the bridge were to be declared unusable, all those vehicles would need to be rerouted.
“This is an investment in connecting the disconnected,” Swalwell said. According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, there are 1,536 bridges in California that are considered structurally deficient.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SF CHRONICLE