In the wake of the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Funding and Jobs Act in late 2021, Americans are witnessing tangible progress as federal funds are allocated to revamp their roads, bridges, airports, and other critical infrastructure. This monumental legislation, which secured bipartisan support, earmarks a staggering $550 billion in fresh federal investments over a span of five years. These funds will have far-reaching effects, impacting everything from the revitalization of bridges and highways to bolstering the nation’s public transit, broadband networks, water systems, and energy infrastructure. President Joe Biden celebrated this achievement, underscoring its significance during a recent visit to Boston Logan International Airport, as he and Congress members eagerly showcase the various projects that will benefit from these federal investments, especially with midterm elections on the horizon.
The disbursement of these funds is facilitated through a combination of formula programs and competitive grant applications. Formula programs channel funds directly to states, enabling them to decide how the money is best distributed. Meanwhile, competitive grant programs require state and local agencies to submit applications for specific projects. This ensures that the funds reach a broad spectrum of communities, providing essential upgrades to their infrastructure.
Let’s delve into four remarkable projects that have already received federal funding:
- Boston Logan International Airport Upgrades
- Boston Logan International Airport secured $62 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This funding is part of the Airport Terminal Program, which is set to provide nearly $1 billion annually for the next five years to 85 airports across the nation.
- The majority of these funds will be invested in modernizing Terminal E, addressing congestion issues and flight delays caused by extended taxi times and inefficient passenger processing. The renovation plans include expanding the terminal’s capacity, upgrading the HVAC system, enhancing the baggage claim area, and rehabilitating the ticket counter, gates, and jet bridges.
- Furthermore, these funds will also be utilized to improve the airport’s taxiways and runways, thus enhancing overall airport operations.
- Port Tampa Bay Expansion in Florida
- Port Tampa Bay has received a $12.6 million grant for the construction of a new berth at its satellite facility, Port Redwing, allowing the docking of three large ships simultaneously.
- This expansion aims to alleviate supply chain challenges and is expected to generate over 800 full-time jobs, significantly boosting the local economy.
- The grant was awarded under the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program, one of several grant programs communities can access for specific transportation projects.
- Phoenix Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge
- Phoenix, Arizona, was awarded $25 million for the construction of a long-anticipated pedestrian and bicycle bridge spanning the Rio Salado River.
- This bridge will provide residents in South Phoenix, especially those without access to private vehicles, with a secure route to reach jobs, schools, and services in the downtown area. It will also offer a convenient link to the South Central Light Rail Extension, currently under construction.
- The project was financed by a RAISE grant, emphasizing its contribution to enhancing local mobility and connectivity.
- Berlin, New Hampshire’s Infrastructure Revitalization
- The Department of Transportation has allocated $19.5 million to the city of Berlin, New Hampshire, for the rehabilitation of roads, sidewalks, municipal parking areas, and the installation of a new snow-melting system in the downtown area.
- This innovative snow-melting system will utilize waste heat from a nearby renewable gas-powered electric generation plant. Given that Berlin experiences an average of seven feet of snow each year, this system will not only improve accessibility for residents and visitors but also reduce vehicle accidents and pedestrian accidents caused by slippery sidewalks.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is not only a testament to the power of bipartisanship but also a transformative force in upgrading and expanding America’s vital infrastructure. These projects are just a glimpse of the profound impact this legislation will have on communities across the country, as it paves the way for a more connected, efficient, and sustainable future.