**Senators Shaheen and Hassan and Congresswoman Kuster Wrote the Department of Transportation in Support of the Project. As a Senior Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen Recently Boosted Funding for the Federal Program that Administers These Grants by $100 Million in Senate-Approved Government Funding Legislation**
(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced with Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH02) that the Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) $12 million through the Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant program (known formerly as the TIGER Grant program). The funding was approved for a project to construct a new bridge to bypass two aging bridges on the Connecticut River and rehabilitate the older bridges for recreational use. Shaheen has historically secured federal funding for the BUILD Grant program. In government funding legislation that recently passed the Senate, Shaheen helped boost funding for the BUILD Grant program by $100 million, totaling $1 billion for fiscal year (FY) 2020.
“I’m thrilled to see this federal funding being invested in a new bridge over the Connecticut River. This project is critical for public safety and a boon for economic development in the western part of our state. I’m also excited to see these older bridges used for recreational purposes. This significant grant award is precisely why boosting funds for the BUILD Grant program and other transportation and infrastructure priorities are always top of my list during annual budget negotiations,” said Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “I will continue to advocate for increased funding for New Hampshire projects that improve our roads, rails, bridges and waterways to ensure Granite Staters always have a seat at the table.”
“This critical $12 million grant to build a new bridge across the Connecticut River will make a significant difference for Granite Staters, improving the connectivity, economic vitality, and quality of life in the region,” said Hassan. “I was glad to join Senator Shaheen in successfully advocating for increased BUILD Grant program funding during the appropriations process, and I will continue working with the rest of the New Hampshire delegation to secure additional federal funding to strengthen and modernize our state’s transportation infrastructure.”
“These resources are critical to improving public safety and economic competitiveness in Cheshire county and the region,” said Kuster, who advocated on behalf of the grant. “I was proud to support the funding to complete this much needed new bridge between Hinsdale and Brattleboro and look forward to working with the New Hampshire delegation to get New Hampshire communities the resources needed to compete in our 21st century economy.”
Senators Shaheen and Hassan and Congresswoman Kuster authored letters of support on behalf of the project to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. Shaheen has long fought to bring federal dollars back to New Hampshire to invest in critical transportation and infrastructure projects to fix the Granite State’s roads, rails, bridges and ports. In June, Shaheen reintroduced legislation, the Strengthen and Fortify Existing (SAFE) Bridges Act, which Senator Hassan cosponsored, to begin to address the more than 47,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. Kuster is a cosponsor of the corresponding legislation in the House.