Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework Would Fortify Rural Georgia Bridges Like I-16’s Route 86

July 16, 2021

Rural Transit Day Underscores Dire Need for Investments in Georgia’s Infrastructure 

As today marks National Rural Transit Day, hundreds of rural commuters along the I-16 interstate are facing significant delays to their travel. Yesterday, the Route 86 bridge on I-16 connecting Macon and Savannah shut down after a truck collided into the bridge railing, shifting the bridge six feet out of place. The Georgia Department of Transportation estimates that the closure will affect about 21,000 daily crossings until the bridge is reopened. 

Bridges in need of repair are no anomaly in Georgia though, as the state has identified needed repairs on 13,698 bridges at an estimated cost of $12.1 billion. Since 2011, commute times have increased by 10.8% in Georgia, and on average, each driver pays $375 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair.

Strong, sustainable infrastructure is crucial to the jobs, health, and safety of all Georgians — which is why President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework will devote more than $312 billion to transform our nation’s transportation infrastructure, including $110 billion for resilient roads, bridges, and major projects.

“The 1-16 bridge is a clarion call for leaders in Washington to pass President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework — the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system,” Rhyan Lake, spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of Georgia, said. “Repairing and rebuilding Georgia’s infrastructure with a focus on resilience, equity, and safety for all users is critical to strengthening communities across our state. That’s why President Biden is making the largest investment in our country’s infrastructure and economic competitiveness in almost a century, including a focus on healthy, sustainable transportation options for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians alike. Infrastructure is the foundation of building a stronger Georgia, and it’s time for both sides of the aisle to come to the table and invest in our state’s future.” 

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