For the sake of clarity, Pop Smoke Media has created this quick reference guide detailing the amounts allocated to various projects in the near $1T bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed on Tuesday.
The following areas are covered by the bill. Brief justifications and commentary are embedded in the explanations, which come from the White House’s press release on the matter.
Roads, Bridges, and Major Projects:
$110B – To “repair and rebuild our roads and bridges with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity, and safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians.” The portion dedicated to investing in bridges is the largest one since the interstate highway system was built.
$11B – “It will more than double funding directed to programs that improve the safety of people and vehicles in our transportation system, including highway safety, truck safety, and pipeline and hazardous materials safety.” The recognition that America has one of the highest road fatality rates in the industrialized world (est. 38,680 fatalities in 2020) necessitates this funding.
$39B – To “modernize transit, and improve accessibility for the elderly and people with disabilities, in addition to continuing the existing transit programs for five years as part of surface transportation reauthorization.” This investment is the largest in public transit history, and is aimed at modernizing existing infrastructure and bring transit services to new communities.
Passenger and Freight Rail:
$66B – To “eliminate the Amtrak maintenance backlog, modernize the Northeast Corridor, and bring world-class rail service to areas outside the northeast and mid-Atlantic.” This is the largest passenger rail investment since Amtrak was created 50 years ago.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure:
$7.5B – This is the first-ever Federal investment in EV charging infrastructure in the U.S. It is “a critical element in the Biden-Harris Administrations plan to accelerate the adoption of EVs to address the climate crisis and support domestic manufacturing jobs.”
$7.5B – “The deal invests $2.5 billion in zero emission buses, $2.5 billion in low emission buses, and $2.5 billion for ferries. These investments will drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles.” The hope is that this investment will create jobs and support domestic manufacturing, while removing diesel buses from more vulnerable communities.
$1B – “Too often, past transportation investments divided communities, like the Claiborne Expressway in New Orleans or I-81 in Syracuse, or it left out the people most in need of affordable transportation options. In particular, significant portions of the interstate highway system were built through Black neighborhoods.” This is the first-ever program meant to reconnect communities physically divided by transportation infrastructure.
Airports, Ports, and Waterways:
$42B – “The United States built modern aviation, but our airports lag far behind our competitors.” $25B of this will go to airports and $17B to port infrastructure. This is in order to address “repair and maintenance backlogs, reduce congestion and emissions near ports and airports, and drive electrification and other low-carbon technologies.”
Resilience and Western Water Infrastructure:
> $50B – “Last year alone, the United States faced 22 extreme weather and climate-related disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each, a cumulative price tag of nearly $100 billion.” The $50B includes funds to protect against droughts and floods, and a major investment in weatherization. This is the largest investment in the fortitude of physical and natural systems in US history.
Clean Drinking Water:
$55B – “Currently, up to 10 million American households and 400,000 schools and child care centers lack safe drinking water.” As the largest clean water investment in U.S. history, this will replace all of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines.
High Speed Internet:
$65B – “By one definition, more than 30 million Americans live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds, a particular problem in rural communities throughout the country.”
This investment ensures every American citizen has access to reliable high-speed internet. Consequently, the bill will lower overall internet service prices by “requiring funding recipients to offer a low-cost affordable plan, by creating price transparency and helping families comparison shop, and by boosting competition in areas where existing providers aren’t providing adequate service.”
$21B – “In thousands of rural and urban communities around the country, hundreds of thousands of former industrial and energy sites are now idle sources of blight and pollution. 26% of Black Americans and 29% of Hispanic Americans live within 3 miles of a Superfund site, a higher percentage than for Americans overall. Proximity to a Superfund site can lead to elevated levels of lead in children’s blood.”
As the largest investment addressing harmful legacy pollution in American history, this deal plans to, “create good-paying union jobs in hard-hit energy communities and advancing economic and environmental justice.”
$73B – The explanation for this allocation begins with a reference to the recent power outages in Texas to show that the funding is aimed at modernizing the U.S. power infrastructure, with an emphasis on clean energy.
“The deal’s $73 billion investment is the single largest investment in clean energy transmission in American history. It upgrades our power infrastructure, including by building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy. It creates a new Grid Deployment Authority, invests in research and development for advanced transmission and electricity distribution technologies, and promotes smart grid technologies that deliver flexibility and resilience. It invests in demonstration projects and research hubs for next generation technologies like advanced nuclear reactors, carbon capture, and clean hydrogen.”
All of these are investments are steep commitments and their outcomes will have to be weighed once the money starts rolling out.
The bill passed with a final vote of 69 to 30, with 19 Republicans voting alongside all 50 Democrats.
President Biden commented on the bill’s passage, stating that it “proved that democracy can still work.”