Money Matters: How are Clients in North America Addressing the Widening Gap Between Available Funding and Bridge Construction and Maintenance Requirements?

Bridge funding, both for maintenance and new construction, is the focus of this article. Part of the problem is seen to be the rise in materials costs coupled with a small pool of qualified contractors to handle large, complex projects. In discussing the finance issue, the article takes a look at how Canada is financing bridge projects via public-private partnerships, especially for projects in British Columbia such as the Golden Ears Bridge over the Fraser River in Vancouver. Regarding public-private partnerships projects within the U.S., the article notes a slowness among the states to adopt this approach. However, Texas and Florida have shown leadership. Beyond finding new funding sources, the article also explores how states are making more efficient use of existing funds, particularly on design-build projects. Designed to provide greater cost control, design-build arrangements allow a client to have a single contract that covers both the design and the construction of a bridge project. While it can offer cost benefits in the form of direct control, some significant drawbacks have been noted. In design-build projects upfront payment is required, rather than payment in stages. This can cause problems on projects where the need for a fast build runs counter to the need to have all funding in place first. Bridge projects highlighted in this article include those in San Francisco, CA (Oakland Bay Bridge Self Anchored Span) and Tacoma, WA (Tacoma Narrows Bridge).


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  • Accession Number: 01050484
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 21 2007 7:41AM