RALEIGH, N.C. — The $1 trillion infrastructure bill that passed through the House Friday could mean billions in investment for North Carolina. That money will go to highways and bridges, public transit, broadband internet and improving water systems.
What You Need To Know
- A newly-passed infrastructure bill should bring billions in investment to North Carolina
- That money will go to highways and bridges, public transit, broadband internet and improving water systems
- Congress passed the massive spending plan after weeks of back and forth between the moderate and progressive wings of the Democratic Party.
- The bill also has dedicated funding to help treat PFAS contamination
Congress passed the massive spending plan after weeks of back and forth between the moderate and progressive wings of the Democratic Party. Thirteen Republicans ultimately joined with Democrats on Capitol Hill to pass the bill.
“The jobs created by this legislation are jobs that cannot be outsourced. They will be performed here in the United States of America,” said Rep. Deborah Ross, a Wake County Democrat.
“It will boost all of our workers, from the folks who pave the roads to the scientists and engineers who are designing 21st century transportation networks, water and sewer systems and cutting-edge electrical grids,” she said Monday morning, speaking in front of Raleigh’s Union Station.
Rep. David Price joined Ross Monday to celebrate the passage of the infrastructure deal, a major piece of the Biden administration’s agenda.
“This bill is the largest investment ever in public transit. As our state and particularly the Triangle region continue to grow, our transit infrastructure has got to keep up with the population,” Price said. “We can’t solve long commuting lines simply by building another lane and another lane out on I-40.”
Beyond trains and bridges, the bill includes $65 billion to expand broadband access.
“Broadband isn’t a luxury. That was a fact brought home during this pandemic,” Price said. “Broadband expansion has to be, for this century, what rural electrification was for our parents and grandparents in the last century.”
The infrastructure deal includes $66 billion for public transit nationwide.
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal makes the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak – helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions by repairing, upgrading, and modernizing the nation’s transit infrastructure,” the Biden administration said Monday.
North Carolina can expect to see about $40 million for transit, according to the state’s Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette.
Highways and bridges
The state will likely see about $400 million for highways and $90 million for bridges from the infrastructure deal, Boyette said at Monday’s news conference with Price and Ross.
Nationwide the bill puts about $110 billion toward building and upgrading roads, bridges and similar projects.
Ports and airports
The bill includes $25 billion for airports around the country “to address repair and maintenance backlogs and reduce congestion and emissions near ports and airports,” according to the Biden administration.
That could include a new runway for Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Price said.
The deal also has $17 billion for ports infrastructure nationally, which could potentially help upgrade North Carolina’s ports.
Rural broadband access is a major part of the infrastructure deal that got bipartisan support in Congress, Price said.
The bill includes more than $65 billion for broadband infrastructure around the county. About $100 million of that will go to North Carolina, Ross said.
Much of that money will go to rural areas of the state that struggle with good broadband access.
The bill includes $65 billion to modernize the country’s electric grid, increase carbon capture technology and invest in more clean energy technology. It includes $7.5 billion for a network of electric vehicle charging stations across the United States.
“This bill modernizes our nation’s electric grid to protect against storm damage and unlock the full potential of clean energy,” Ross said. “We cannot update our electric grid too soon.”
“Here in North Carolina we’ve seen the effects of storm damage, we’ve seen the cost of updating the grid and we’ve seen what’s happened in Texas and California, and that work has to start immediately,” she said.
“In so many rural areas of this state, water and sewer systems are outdated and there simply is not the community funding to pay for it,” Ross said. “This bill is a game changer."
Ross said the deal includes $1 billion to update water infrastructure across the state. Nationally, the bill puts $55 billion into repairing and updating water infrastructure.
“This bill provides funds to replace every lead pipe in the country and help ensure that all our children can enjoy clean drinking water,” she said. It also has dedicated funding to help treat PFAS contamination, which has been a particular problem along the Cape Fear River.