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For Immediate Release: 04/11/24
Contact: Office of Media Relations and Communications | (518) 471-5300 |


Federal Funding Will Provide Upgrades to South Grand Island Bridges to Protect Against Seismic Events

Grant Funding Will Also Enhance Motorist, Pedestrian, and Thruway Maintenance Personnel Safety on the Bridges

The New York State Thruway Authority today announced it has been selected to receive $39 million in federal funding for infrastructure investments at the South Grand Island Bridges in Western New York. The funding is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient and Cost-saving Transportation, Efficient and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) program, which is funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Law. The Thruway Authority applied for the grant in 2023.

“The Grand Island Bridges are an iconic landmark in Western New York and a vital connector for travelers and commercial vehicles from Canada to New York State and throughout the Northeast,” Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Frank G. Hoare, Esq. said. “Given the recent earthquake in our region, this federal funding is a timely and vital investment to enhance the resilience of the South Grand Island Bridges in the event of seismic activity.”

The funding will be used to strengthen the infrastructure of the South Grand Island Bridges and perform critical upgrades to make them more resistant to the additional seismic loading caused by an earthquake. The overall project scope includes:

  • Seismic retrofits on both bridges;
  • Structural steel repairs to rehabilitate both the bridges and to increase their seismic resilience;
  • Enhancing roadway surface friction for improved vehicular safety, particularly in wet conditions;
  • Reopening the closed sidewalk on the southbound bridge and improving shared-use path segments connecting the bridges’ sidewalks to local trail systems; and,
  • Upgrading permanently installed maintenance access devices, including ladders, to improve operational safety and conform to current OSHA standards.

The South Grand Island Bridges are located on Grand Island, NY and are twin truss arch bridge spans, each carrying one direction of I-190 over the Niagara River. Construction on the southbound bridge was completed in 1935 and the northbound bridge in 1963. More than 68,000 vehicles cross the bridges daily.

An additional $1.6 million was awarded to Western New York to bolster emergency plans for Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties to keep communities safe during severe weather. The funding will be used to develop and coordinate emergency response plans for those counties and examine vulnerabilities around roadway and transit operations, as well as maintenance practices during winter snowstorms and challenges presented by lake effect snow.

More information on federal grant opportunities the Thruway Authority has applied for and received can be found on the Authority’s website.