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Gore Commerorates New Bay Bridge, Lauds Federal Bridges Program August 3, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, bridges, Environment, Environmentalism, Gore, News and politics, President Gore.

President Gore today commemorated the new Eastern span of the Bay Bridge connecting Oakland and San Francisco, California today. In his speech before Bay Area civic leaders and construction workers, he pointed to the four-year old Federal Bridges Program (FBP) that has received most of its funding from the graduated gasoline taxes that went into effect in mid 2002.

East Span of the Bay BridgeThe bridge actually received little funding from the FBP, in fact. The multi-billion structure was instead mostly funded from California state coffers. But Gore pointed out that the bridge’s completion was accelerated in large part from a boost from the FBP, and lauded the significance the FBP has had on bridge infrastructure in the United States, which had been deteriorating for years before the program came into being.

“The American people can take pride in the fact that their sacrifices are paying off,” said Gore in the speech. “Initial studies indicated that, before the FBP was enacted one quarter of American bridges were unsafe. We’ve made significant inroads into that figure already, with more than 100 major bridges having already undergone significant safety and infrastructure improvements.”

One of the results, of course, of the bridge program, has been higher gasoline prices, which have crept up to their current high of $3.50 per gallon, despite a fairly stable period of crude oil prices, which are currently at around $26 per barrel. Gore wasn’t shy about pointing to the connections. “Now, Americans have had to sacrifice in order to help pay for these improvements, but I think most would argue that it’s important to protect our families and remember that when we’re packing that car up and filling up the tank, we’re not only helping to assure a safe trip, but we’re continuing to improve our environment and help lead our nation towards alternative fuels. Already, hydrogen-powered vehicles are making their way into the mainstream. I see a very bright future ahead of us, thanks to the determination and ingenuity of the American people.”

Here is a list of some of the bridges that have been or are currently being repaired through the FBP:

State Bridge Repaired
Highways and/or crossings City: Avg. # of vehicles/day
Ala. I-65 U.S. 11, railroad Birmingham 148,800
Calif. I-880 Fifth Avenue, railroads Oakland 240,000
Calif. State Route 710 Los Angeles River Los Angeles 235,440
Colo. I-70 U.S. 6, railroad, city street Denver 136,744
Colo. I-25 South Platte River, railroad Denver 208,353
Colo. U.S. 6 Bryant Street Denver 148,339
Conn.-N.Y. I-95 Byram River, South Water Street Byram 127,200
Conn. I-95 Cherry Street and Bostwick Avenue Bridgeport 130,100
Conn. I-95 West River and SR 745 New Haven 135,200
Mass. I-95 and SR 128 Charles River Newton 160,000
Md.-Va. I-95 and I-495 Potomac River Washington, DC 172,975
Minn. I-35E Cayuga Street St. Paul 148,000
Minn. I-35E Railroad St. Paul 148,000
Minn. I-35E Pennsylvania Avenue St. Paul 144,000
Minn. I-35W Mississippi River, railroad Minneapolis 141,000
Mo. I-64E MetroLink light rail line St. Louis 135,892
Mo. I-64E Brentwood Boulevard St. Louis 158,620
Mo. I-64E Laclede Station Road St. Louis 142,196
Mo. I-64E Clayton Terrace St. Louis 142,196
Mo. I-64E McCausland Avenue St. Louis 139,458
N.J. Route 3 Passaic River, Route 21 Rutherford 144,200
N.J. Garden State Parkway Raritan River, Smith Street Perth Amboy 208,000
N.Y. I-678 I-495 New York 137,852
N.Y. I-87 Hudson River, River Road South Nyack 133,933
Pa. I-95 Palmer and Cumberland streets Philadelphia 173,662
Pa. I-95 Sergeant and Huntington streets Philadelphia 173,662
Pa. I-95 Tacony and Bridge streets Philadelphia 166,407
Pa. I-95 Comly Street Philadelphia 166,407
Pa. I-95 Magee Avenue Philadelphia 166,407
Pa. I-95 Longshore Avenue Philadelphia 166,407
Pa. I-95 Ramp Philadelphia 163,884
Pa. I-95 Ramp Philadelphia 161,310
Pa. I-95 State Road, railroad Philadelphia 161,310
Pa. I-95 Pennypack Creek Philadelphia 161,310
R.I. I-195 Chestnut Street, SR 12 Providence 161,153
Va. I-95 Lombardy Street, railroad Richmond 144,772


1. Jane - August 3, 2007

didn’t I see Bill O’Riley working on that bridge? He had a toolbelt and was trying not to fall off in the wind. Boy his rehab program sure has some tough jobs.

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