Reclamation Announces $4.425 M in ARRA Funding for Bridge Repair Project on Lower Colorado River

Media Contact: Chris Wallis, 928-343-8215

For Release: January 15, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Bureau of Reclamation, an agency of the Department of the Interior, has provided $4.425 million of funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to repair the deteriorated deck of the Lower Cibola Bridge, which crosses the Colorado River south of Blythe, Calif.

The Bureau of Reclamation has provided the funding to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The FHWA will solicit and award a contract for the repair project, as well as provide all other necessary services, including design engineering, environmental compliance, and contract administration. The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2010.

"This bridge has been closed to public use for two years because it is not safe," said Reclamation's Commissioner Michael L. Connor. "This has been detrimental to the public's access to recreational activities on the Cibola National Refuge, and to access by agricultural users to lands operated by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Repair of the bridge deck will restore both the public access to the wildlife refuge and access to the agricultural lands."

The 562 foot long bridge, completed in 1970, was constructed so the public would have easier access to the recreational activities available on the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, and to provide access to agricultural lands operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It also provides Reclamation staff easy access to both sides of the river to perform necessary operation and maintenance activities. Severe deterioration of the bridge deck resulted in closure of the bridge to public use, and to restricted access by other users.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed earlier this year gave $3 billion to the Department of the Interior.

The ARRA funds represent an important component of the President's plan to jumpstart the economy and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so the country can thrive in the 21st century. Under the ARRA, Interior is making an investment in conserving America's timeless treasures - our stunning natural landscapes, our monuments to liberty, the icons of our culture and heritage - while helping American families and their communities prosper again. Interior is also focusing on renewable energy projects, the needs of American Indians, employing youth and promoting community service.

"With its investments of Recovery Act funds, the Department of the Interior and its bureaus are putting people to work today to make improvements that will benefit the environment and the region for many years to come," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said.

Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department's economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on and on Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force to work closely with Interior's Inspector General and ensure the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency set by President Obama.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.