Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced $2 million in federal funding for the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority (OBPA). The funds were provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant Program. The Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge handles over 800,000 vehicles annually and is an important thruway for billions of dollars of goods each year.
The funding will specifically be used to fund critical repairs to replace portions of the failing, lead-based paint protection system on the bridge’s steel girder that spans the United States side. The paint will be replaced with an environmentally friendly, zinc-based paint system. The modernized system will protect these spans and help avert a potentially significant lead-based threat to the environment. The project will use cutting-edge bridge modeling and monitoring technologies to minimize its costs and maximize its results. The completion of this project will ensure that the bridge stays open to service the needs of Americans and Canadians, and will help modernize a transportation asset that is instrumental to the long-term economic development needs of the region.
“The Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge is vital to the North Country’s economy, with billions in imports, exports and visitors crossing the bridge every year. This new federal investment is exactly what the North Country needs to bring our infrastructure into the 21st century. This major federal investment will help the Port Authority replace the bridge’s old lead-based paint and modernize this critical piece of infrastructure. I am glad USDOT heeded my calls to make this important investment in the North Country a reality,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer.
“The Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge is an important asset in our region and its modernization is critical to our economy,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It is a major point of entry that links the United States with Canada, our country’s largest trade partner, and is an important artery for getting travelers and goods between the two countries. I am proud to have fought for this funding that will benefit the North Country and New York for generations to come.”
“The TIGER grant is an essential step in a multi-year approach for the rehabilitation of the Ogdensburg Prescott International Bridge; a structure which is vital to the economy of our region,” said Wade A. Davis, Executive Director, Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority. “Through the tireless advocacy of Senators Gillibrand, Schumer and Congresswoman Stefanik this key rehabilitation project will now become a reality and the Authority is very thankful for their advocacy efforts.”
The TIGER Discretionary Grant Program provides an opportunity for the U.S. DOT to invest in road, rail, transit, and port projects that promise to achieve critical national objectives. In each round of TIGER, DOT receives many applications to build and repair critical pieces of freight and passenger transportation networks. More information can be found here.
Senator Gillibrand and Senator Schumer advocated for funding for this critical project; a copy of the letter to Secretary Chao is available below:
The Honorable Elaine L. Chao
Secretary of Transportation
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Dear Secretary Chao,
I write in support of the application submitted by the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority (OBPA) for funding from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Grant Program through the U.S. Department of Transportation. This funding will assist with the rehabilitation of the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge in Northern New York State.
The Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge is a suspension bridge that links the United States and Canada over the St. Lawrence River. The Bridge is a regionally significant asset and its modernization is critical to the area, which is a highly distressed region of Upstate New York that suffers from one of the highest unemployment rates in the state. It is also nationally significant as a major point of entry that links the United States with Canada, our country’s largest trade partner, and provides a corridor for the movement of goods and people between the two countries.
The requested funding will be used to replace portions of the failing, lead-based paint protection system on the Bridge’s steel girder spans along the U.S. approach. The paint will be replaced with an environmentally-friendly, zinc-based paint system. The modernized system will protect these spans and help avert a potentially significant lead-based threat to the environment. The project will use cutting-edge bridge modeling and monitoring technologies to minimize its costs and maximize its results. The completion of this project will ensure the Bridge stays open to service the needs of Americans and Canadians, and will help to modernize a transportation asset that is instrumental to the long-term economic development needs of the region.
I ask that you please give this application full consideration. If you have any questions, or desire for further information, please do not hesitate to contact my staff member Laura Driscoll at (202) 224-4451
United States Senator
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senate Minority Leader