Bridge Bundling: Stretch Dollars, Expedite Delivery and Reduce Backlogs
Bridges across the country need attention. Of the 617,000 bridges across the United States, 7.5% are considered structurally deficient and 37% need repair and preservation work. According to the 2021 Infrastructure Report Card from ASCE, at the current rate of progress it will take 50 years – until 2071 – to complete all of the currently needed bridge repairs.
No wonder, then, that more and more state DOTs and local entities are turning to bridge bundling as a strategic solution to tackle the $125 billion backlog of repairs needed across the country.
Bridge bundling awards a single contract for multiple preservation, rehabilitation or replacement projects. While bridge bundling typically encompasses two to four bridges, the Bridge Bundling Guidebook from the Federal Highway Administration notes that agencies have bundled anywhere from two to 558 bridges under a single contract.
The scope of the contract can include both design and construction, or it can allow for strictly defined tiers of work. The bundled contract can end with the completion of construction, or it can extend for a number of years for regular and preventive maintenance.