Six months after President Biden signed the Infrastructure and Jobs Investment Act into law, projects are underway throughout Pennsylvania to improve roads, bridges, public transportation, drinking water, and more.
While it seems like business as usual on Pennsylvania’s highways, roads, and bridges—endless lines of orange road construction cones, travel delays, and detour signs—many of the projects underway are funded thanks to the infrastructure act passed last year.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law by President Joe Biden in November and made a historic investment in infrastructure by providing $110 billion for roads, bridges, broadband, public transportation, safe drinking water, and much more across the nation.
Under the formulas contained in the bill, Pennsylvania is set to get $17.8 billion of the total, or over $1,400 for each resident of the state.
As of the beginning of May, designated infrastructure funding for Pennsylvania for 2022 currently totals $5.3 billion. That total breaks down to 66.46% for transportation, 33.47% for climate, energy and environment, and 0.06% for “other.” A complete list of projects scheduled to receive funding this year can be found here.
Here’s a look at how those infrastructure funds are being used in Pennsylvania this year:
Roads and Bridges
According to the US Department of Transportation, the Gettysburg & Northern Railroad Co. will receive up to $1.8 million for the Gettysburg State and Private Investments Driving Economic Recovery Project. The project will rehabilitate approximately 24 miles of the Gettysburg & Northern Railway mainline in Adams and Cumberland counties.
US Sen. Bob Casey (D) announced over $14 million in grant monies to rehabilitate 8.6 miles of rail track and rehabilitate 14 bridges between Boyertown and Pottstown in Berks County.
Pennsylvania has 3,353 aging bridges and more than 7,540 miles of highway in poor condition.
Through the infrastructure bill, Pennsylvania is set to receive a total of $11.3 billion for roads and $1.6 billion for bridges.
Over $30 million is slated for the Philadelphia International Airport to improve its aging infrastructure.
Pennsylvania ranks 11th in the nation for the number of public-use aviation facilities with 128 airports, heliports, and seaplane bases. Of those facilities, 15 provide commercial passenger service and 6 offer international flights. There are also 229 private airports in the commonwealth.
Pennsylvania will receive a total of $355 million in federal funding over five years from the infrastructure bill to improve its airports.
Pennsylvania has more abandoned mine land acreage than any other state in the nation and represents 41% of the entire country’s total reclamation costs.
About $245 million in funding is already headed to the commonwealth to clean up abandoned mines. The state is slated to receive a total of $4.5 billion over five years to support the remediation of every unfinished abandoned mine site in the state.
Nationwide, almost 10 million American households and 400,000 schools and child care centers lack safe drinking water. The infrastructure bill provides funding to deliver clean drinking water to everyone and eliminate the nation’s lead service lines and pipes. About $240 million is designated for Pennsylvania in 2022 for clean water infrastructure.
Pennsylvania will receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to help provide broadband internet service across the state, including providing access to the at least 394,000 Pennsylvanians who currently lack it.
Through the infrastructure act, 20 internet companies have agreed to provide discount service to people in the state with low incomes. Families of four earning about $55,000 or less annually — or those including someone eligible for Medicaid — will get a $30 monthly credit. About 23% of people in Pennsylvania qualify for the program.
The 20 internet companies that have agreed to lower their rates for eligible consumers provide service in areas where 80% of the US population, including 50% of the rural population, live, according to the White House.