Biden Administration Announces Infrastructure Investments

DOT Gives $2.2 Billion in Funding for 162 Projects
Joe Biden
President Joe Biden, shown June 26 at the White House, includes internet access as part of his infrastructure program. (Evan Vucci/AP)

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With the height of the busy summer travel season upon us, President Joe Biden is touting investments approved in 2021’s infrastructure law.

The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, made possible with bipartisan congressional support, is among Biden’s signature legislative achievements.

“High-speed internet isn’t a luxury anymore; it’s become an absolute necessity. That’s why we acted as soon as we did,” Biden said on June 26, kicking off a weeklong campaign to promote his administration’s investments in infrastructure programs. “We signed the bipartisan infrastructure law, a once-in-a-generation investment to rebuild roads, bridges, ports, airports, and deliver water and high-speed internet to every American.”

Nearly half of the law’s funding authority is dedicated for surface transportation and supply chain-centric programs. The remainder aims to boost climate change resilience, advance intelligent transportation systems and enhance access to broadband.

Per background the White House provided, “The Biden-Harris Investing in America agenda is rebuilding our infrastructure, including our roads and bridges, high-speed internet capacity, ports and airports. This infrastructure is the necessary foundation for durable and shared economic growth. Thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure law, 35,000 new projects have been awarded funding in communities all across the country.”

As part of the White House’s infrastructure campaign, the U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced more than $2.2 billion in grants for 162 infrastructure projects across the country. The Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, or RAISE, grants aim to support projects of regional significance.

“Using the funds in President Biden’s infrastructure law, we are helping communities in every state across the country realize their visions for new infrastructure projects,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said June 28. “This round of RAISE grants is helping create a new generation of good-paying jobs in rural and urban communities alike, with projects whose benefits will include improving safety, fighting climate change, advancing equity, strengthening our supply chain and more.”

Transportation agencies receiving grants include Iowa, which will receive a $24.7 million grant to replace up to nine bridges; New Jersey was awarded $25 million for a 100-foot road bridge in Hudson County; and Louisiana will receive $24.8 million to construct a transit hub in New Orleans. The project in New Orleans is meant to “make safety improvements at intersections with a history of pedestrian-involved crashes,” according to DOT.

DOT also intends to award grants totaling nearly $6 billion for big-picture infrastructure projects. This would include $3.1 billion for the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America, or INFRA, program for multimodal freight and highway projects of national or regional significance. “From fixing rural roads that would otherwise have trouble getting federal funding, to addressing some of the largest and most recognizable bridges and tunnels in the country, the funds in these three programs are supporting transformational infrastructure projects across the nation,” Buttigieg indicated in a statement June 27.

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“Using a combined process to reduce paperwork, we are pleased to open this new round of funding for applications and look forward to hearing from project sponsors around the country seeking funds to help strengthen their communities through infrastructure,” the secretary added.

Additionally, the department provided nearly $1.7 billion for transit projects around the country. “We are creating new opportunities to dramatically improve the lives of millions of Americans who ride on buses every day,” explained Federal Transit Administration Chief Nuria Fernandez. “Thanks to the president’s bipartisan infrastructure law, these grants will help deliver a cleaner and more modern mode of transportation, designed to reach everyone, and to work for everyone, particularly in places that haven’t received enough resources in the past.”