University program receives $1.4 million federal grant

Photo taken by Eduardo Merille on Flickr

Cayla Bush//Editor in Chief

The Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center received another $1.4 million dollar boost from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The center is the first federally-funded entity focused on developing technology and methods to improve and accelerate the construction of bridges.

“FIU’s work to address substandard bridges is critical to restoring our transportation infrastructure in South Florida and across the county,” Congressman Carlos Curbelo said in a press release. “I was proud to lead the effort to authorize University Transportation Centers program, which funds important projects like bridge construction and to see it signed into law as part of the surface transportation bill last year.”

Curbelo says the funds will directly benefit students at FIU, whose work he is excited to see, as well as the South Florida community overall. He was responsible for introducing the legislation that made the funds available in October of 2015. Curbelo attributes the legislation’s success to support from Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the Florida Delegation.

“We salute Congressman Curbelo and the South Florida Delegation for championing transportation infrastructure,” said Atorod Azizinamini, chair of the Structure and Bridge Engineering program at FIU. “His leadership on introducing legislation to authorize the University Transportation Centers program and joining with Congresspersons Wasserman Schultz and Diaz-Balart to support FIU’s center will benefit South Florida and the country as we improve our aging infrastructure.”

Curbelo said that FIU students and staff know first-hand how serious the South Florida transportation infrastructure situation is.

“I was proud to fight to make sure these funds were a part of the surface transportation bill last year so research of our transportation infrastructure could continue to make sure our roads and highways are safe for current and future commuters,” Curbelo said to Student Media. “With such a high concentration of bridges in my district, especially throughout the Florida Keys, I’m excited to see how FIU’s Bridge Engineering program puts these funds to work.”

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