FRAMINGHAM — As traffic inched along the School Street Bridge over the Cochituate Brook, U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark touted how the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill will fuel bridge repair and upgrades in Massachusetts.

State experts say the 15-foot bridge is “structurally deficient” at nearly 100 years old.

“This bridge is small, but it has big problems,” said Clark, a Democrat who is assistant speaker of the House. “It is central and yet at the end of its reliable life.”

During a Monday afternoon press conference near the bridge, Clark was joined by Mayor Charlie Sisitsky and other local and state officials.

Shutting it down for repairs would necessitate building a temporary bridge, which would cost $500,000 alone. When infrastructure deteriorates, traffic increases, consumers face higher costs and quality of life decreases, said Clark.

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That’s why President Joe Biden’s administration has focused on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, said Clark.

She has represented Massachusetts's 5th Congressional District since 2013. Locally, the district includes Ashland, Holliston, Framingham, Natick, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, Wayland and Weston.

“This law is all about long-term investment,” said Clark, who recently moved from Melrose to Revere.

Of the 5,229 bridges in Massachusetts, 472 — or 9% — are classified as structurally deficient, according to the congresswoman’s office.

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Last week, the first round of funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s $27.5 billion bridge formula program was distributed to states and tribal communities, according to U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration.

In this initial round of funding, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (DOT) will receive $225.3 million for fiscal 2022. Over the life of the five-year program, Massachusetts will eventually receive $1.1 billion for bridge replacement and repair projects.

In addition to the formula funding headed to the Massachusetts DOT, the law includes a $12.5 billion bridge investment program, which will provide competitive grants to assist state, local, federal and tribal entities in rehabilitating or replacing bridges.

Simon Alexandrovich, director of transportation engineering in Framingham, said rusted steel likely sits underneath the asphalt of the bridge. But the main problem is that it's too narrow, with just one sidewalk on one side of the road and no space for bike lanes, he said.

Acting Director of Public Works William Sedewitz called the School Street Bridge the highest priority project in the queue.

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“We’ve been trying to seek city funds to start the design, which has not been approved yet," he said. "We’re certainly hoping this federal money will start to flow down to communities."

Also in the infrastructure bill is $55 billion for clean water. Massachusetts is slated to receive about $12.5 billion, with just over $1 billion for improving water infrastructure.

That money will be used to eliminate the nation’s lead service lines and pipes and help clean up dangerous PFAS chemicals (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), Clark said.

“We need to make sure our drinking water remains clean and clear of these chemicals and other contaminants,” said Clark, on PFAS. “It’s on the rise — we’ve seen it in Natick, we’ve seen it in Sudbury… it’s a very expensive investment to do on their own and that’s why the federal government is here to partner.”

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