Pennsylvania will receive $17.8 billion of the $110 billion in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to improve roads, bridges, public transportation, drinking water, and much more.
From potholes (so many potholes) and aging bridges to dilapidated dams and railroad tracks with no trains, Pennsylvania’s infrastructure definitely needs a face lift.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act aims to give it one.
Signed into law by President Joe Biden this week, the legislation makes a historic investment in infrastructure by providing $110 billion for roads, bridges, broadband, public transportation, safe drinking water, and much more across the US.
“My message to the American people is this: America is moving again and your life is going to change for the better,” he said.
Under the formulas contained in the bill, Pennsylvania will get $17.8 billion of the total, or over $1,400 for each resident of the state. With the ability to apply for additional funds, as well, Pennsylvania could benefit up to $50 billion in total.
“Our Pennsylvania infrastructure is crying out for this type of investment,” Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) said at a recent news conference.
The bill is fully funded through a variety of sources, including using unspent COVID-19 relief funds, imposing new Superfund fees, and strengthening corporate tax enforcement. Taxes will not need to be raised.
All of Pennsylvania’s Democrats in Congress voted for the bill.
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) was one of 13 “moderate” Republicans who broke ranks to support the historic investment in infrastructure. The rest of Pennsylvania’s Republicans voted against the bill.
Roads and Bridges
Pennsylvania has 3,353 aging bridges and more than 7,540 miles of highway in poor condition.
Through the infrastructure bill, Pennsylvania will receive $11.3 billion for roads and $1.6 billion for bridges.
“I’m reminded on a daily basis when I brave Route 222 how badly we need this infrastructure investment,” Rep. Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) said. “We are working toward common sense solutions to address the crumbling infrastructure here in the commonwealth.”
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.
Pennsylvania is slated to receive $4.5 billion to support the remediation of every unfinished abandoned mine site in the state.
“This is a critical investment that will create jobs, pave the way for new economic development, protect drinking water, and clean up pollution,” Cartwright said.
Pennsylvania will receive $2.8 billion over the next five years to fund public transportation improvements. A majority of the $2.8 billion will go to SEPTA in the southeastern part of the state and PAAC in Allegheny County. The rest will go to 13 other smaller bus transportation systems across the commonwealth.
And that’s all on top of the $66 billion Amtrak will get to improve existing lines and expand service to new areas like Allentown, Reading, and Scranton.
“These investments will make it possible for us to put northeastern Pennsylvania back on the passenger rail map,” Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) said in a news release.
“All of Pennsylvania’s districts have challenges to the safety of our water,” Dean said. “All of us have the right to clean air, clean water, and the preservation of our natural esthetics.”
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. Pennsylvania will receive $1.4 billion over five years to improve its water 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 $355 million in federal funding over five years to improve its airports.
The infrastructure bill provides $3.5 billion in funding for weatherization efforts for homes and businesses across the country. Pennsylvania will receive $244 million to assist in reducing energy costs and increasing energy efficiency.
“This investment is going to create prosperity and opportunity for everyone,” Wild said.
In the infrastructure bill, $7.5 billion is earmarked for building a national network of charging stations. The goal is to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles to curb climate change.
Pennsylvania will receive about $171 million over the next five years to support the expansion of charging stations throughout the state.
Currently, there are more than 1,600 public electric vehicle chargers at more than 800 locations throughout the state.
About 14% of Pennsylvania households do not have an internet subscription, and 3% of Pennsylvanians live in areas where, under the FCC benchmark, there is no broadband infrastructure.
Pennsylvania will receive $100 million to help increase broadband coverage. In addition, more than 20% of Pennsylvanians will be eligible for $14.2 billion in Affordability Connectivity Benefits, which will help low-income families afford internet access.