Buttigieg, Pelosi announce $400M for Golden Gate Bridge improvements

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stood in front of the Golden Gate Bridge on Monday to announce a $400 million federal grant to improve the iconic structure.

"There is only one Golden Gate Bridge, and we are going to protect it," said Buttigieg. "It carries over 100,00 vehicles a day, 37 million a year, including over half a million freight trucks making it a key link for supply chains, including the water-borne freight at the Port of Oakland."

Buttigieg joined former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco Mayor London Breed and other federal officials to celebrate the funding.

The money will go towards the final phase of a retrofit project, designed to protect the bridge from a major earthquake.

"Essentially you move from having shock pads to brake pads on this bridge," said Mitch Landrieu, White House infrastructure coordinator. "So when that bad thing you think might happen, should it ever happen, prepare for the worst, help for the best."

The money will come from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. President Biden and his administration have been traveling the country to tout its benefits. Former Speaker Pelosi praised Biden for getting the bill passed, saying it’ll improve safety and create jobs nationwide.

"The vision, the knowledge of how to get it done, and how to pay for it. It’s very satisfying," said Pelosi.

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In the aftermath of the damage caused by three weeks of storms in the state, Buttigieg devoted funds to repair roads in California and stressed the importance of making them more resilient to extreme weather.

"As a down payment for the president’s commitment to rebuild after the storms, we just announced we’re immediately making $10.2 million of emergency transportation funds to repair damage roads," said Buttigieg.

The final phase of the Golden Gate project will include retrofitting the main suspension part of the bridge and the north anchorage. Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2024 and be completed in 2029.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration announced the funding as part of its Large Bridge Investment Program. The first grants will go to to the Golden Gate Bridge as well as bridges in Kentucky, Connecticut and Illinois.