On Monday, President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law. The $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill is the largest investment in America’s infrastructure in over a decade and a key component in the president’s Build Back Better agenda.
“My message for the American people is this: America’s moving again, and your life’s going to change for the better,” said Biden at the signing ceremony. The president also touted the bill as proof that both parties could work together and deliver results.
The entire nation stands to benefit from increased infrastructure spending and Texas is no exception. The bill allocates $35 billion toward Texas over the next five years, with the possibility of billions more that Texas can apply and compete for.
The largest investment by far that Texas will receive is in roads and bridges. The bill allocates $26.9 billion to repair and build Texas’ highways and another $500 million for Texas’ bridges. Additionally, Texas can compete for the $12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program and nearly $16 billion in national funds dedicated for major projects that will deliver substantial economic benefits.
The second largest investment is in the state’s public transit at $3.3 billion, followed by water infrastructure at $2.9 billion, airports at $1.2 billion. Also included is over $400 million to expand Texas’ electric vehicle charging network and the state will also have the opportunity to apply for $2.5 billion in grants to expand its network even further.
$100 million is allocated to expand broadband coverage in Texas, something over a million Texans currently lack. Over 8 million Texans will be eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Benefit, which helps low-income families afford internet access.
Texas will also benefit from national programs included in the bill. $4.7 billion is allocated to clean up “orphaned” oil and gas wells, which can leak methane, contaminate groundwater, and pose safety risks for nearby communities. This investment is based on the REGROW Act, a bill introduced by Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Houston). Other national investments that are relevant to Texas include $3.5 billion for weatherization, $12 billion for flood mitigation, and $1 billion for natural gas pipeline safety.
Texas’ infrastructure received a C- from the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act represents a major step toward getting the state’s (and the country’s) infrastructure on the right track.
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