White House says Alabama will benefit from infrastructure bill

The Biden administration says the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will benefit Alabama's...
The Biden administration says the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will benefit Alabama's roads as well as other projects.(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 6:41 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (WSFA) - In a show of bipartisan support, the U.S. Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in a 69-30 vote Tuesday.

The $1 trillion infrastructure bill, a priority for President Joe Biden, includes around $550 billion in new federal investments. The bill includes money for roads, public transit, water infrastructure, electric power and utility work among other things.

The infrastructure bill now heads to the House for approval.

Biden’s administration says multiple Alabama projects will reap benefits from the deal if it becomes law.

The White House released a fact sheet laying out how the bill would benefit Alabama. It reads: “The need for action in Alabama is clear and recently released state-level data demonstrates that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will deliver for Alabama. For decades, infrastructure in Alabama has suffered from a systemic lack of investment. In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Alabama a C- grade on its infrastructure report card. The historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will make life better for millions of Alabama residents, create a generation of good-paying union jobs and economic growth, and position the United States to win the 21st century.”

One of the state’s priorities is road and bridge work. According to the White House, Alabama can expect $5.2 billion for federal aid highway-apportioned programs and $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs over five years.

Alabama can also compete for the $12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program for economically significant bridges.

“In Alabama there are 620 bridges and over 2,950 miles of highway in poor condition. Since 2011, commute times have increased by 8.9% in Alabama, and on average, each driver pays $434 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair,” according to the White House.

The infrastructure act could also provide $405 million over five years toward public transportation.

The bill puts a large emphasis on climate change and electric infrastructure. This includes $7.5 billion for a national network of electric vehicle chargers. Alabama would expect $79 million over five years as part of this network. The state may also apply for $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to electric vehicle charging.

Also, there is the broadband issue. According to the White House, 18% of Alabama households have no internet subscription, and 11.5 live in areas without broadband infrastructure. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act promises a minimum allocation of $100 million for broadband. The fact sheet states this will deliver broadband to at least 565,000 Alabamians.

The administration also says 1,518,000 Alabamians will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit to help low-income families afford internet access.

The infrastructure bill now heads to the House for approval.

Neither of Alabama’s senators voted for the bill. Sen. Tommy Tuberville called the bill “fails to give Alabama a fair slice of the pie while also saddling Alabama taxpayers with even more debt.”

Sen. Richard Shelby said the bill lacked money for military infrastructure.

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