US Senate Approves Infrastructure Bill
The US Senate has voted 69-30 to approve US President Mr Joe Biden’s USD 1 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act after more than a week of debate for modernization of roads and highways, upgrade electric transmission and harden infrastructure from extreme weather etc. The infrastructure bill now will advance to the US House of Representatives. American Iron and Steel Institute President & CEO Mr Kevin Dempsey said “We applaud the Senate for advancing this bipartisan legislation that will spur economic growth and job creation throughout the country. Passage of this bill today gets us one step closer to making long overdue investments in our nation’s roads, bridges, transit systems and other essential infrastructure using American-made steel. We look forward to working with the House of Representatives to get this bill to the President’s desk as soon as possible.”
The proposed investments include
Roads, Bridges, and Major Projects - One in five miles, or 173,000 total miles, of highways and major roads and 45,000 bridges are in poor condition & bridges in poor condition. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will invest USD 110 billion of new funds for roads, bridges, and major projects, and reauthorize the surface transportation program for the next five years building on bipartisan surface transportation reauthorization bills passed out of committee earlier this year. This investment will repair and rebuild roads
Safety - America has one of the highest road fatality rates in the industrialized world. The deal invests USD 11 billion in transportation safety programs, including a new Safe Streets for All program to help states and localities reduce crashes and fatalities in their communities, especially for cyclists and pedestrians.
Public Transit - America’s transit infrastructure is inadequate with a multibillion-dollar repair backlog, representing more than 24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, 200 stations, and thousands of miles of track, signals, and power systems in need of replacement. The deal invests USD 39 billion of new investment to modernize transit, and improve accessibility for the elderly and people with disabilities, in addition to continuing the existing transit programs for five years as part of surface transportation reauthorization.
Passenger and Freight Rail - Unlike highways and transit, rail lacks a multi-year funding stream to address deferred maintenance, enhance existing corridors, and build new lines in high-potential locations. The deal positions Amtrak and rail to play a central role in our transportation and economic future. The deal invests USD 66 billion in rail to eliminate the Amtrak maintenance backlog, modernize the Northeast Corridor, and bring world-class rail service to areas outside the northeast and mid-Atlantic.
EV Infrastructure - US market share of plug-in electric vehicle sales is only one-third the size of the Chinese EV market. The President believes that must change. The bill invests USD 7.5 billion to build out a national network of EV chargers.
Electric Buses - American school buses play a critical role in expanding access to education, but they are also a significant source of pollution. The deal will deliver thousands of electric school buses nationwide, including in rural communities, helping school districts across the country buy clean, American-made, zero emission buses, and replace the yellow school bus fleet for America’s children. The deal invests USD 2.5 billion in zero emission buses, USD 2.5 billion in low emission buses, and USD 2.5 billion for ferries.
Reconnecting Communities - Too often, past transportation investments divided communities, like the Claiborne Expressway in New Orleans or I-81 in Syracuse, or it left out the people most in need of affordable transportation options. In particular, significant portions of the interstate highway system were built through Black neighbourhoods. The program will fund planning, design, demolition, and reconstruction of street grids, parks, or other infrastructure through $1 billion of dedicated funding.
Airports, Ports, and Waterways - The United States built modern aviation, but airports lag far behind competitors. The bill invests USD 17 billion in port infrastructure and USD 25 billion in airports to address repair and maintenance backlogs, reduce congestion and emissions near ports and airports, and drive electrification and other low-carbon technologies.
Resilience and Western Water Infrastructure - Millions of Americans feel the effects of climate change each year when their roads wash out, airport power goes down, or schools get flooded. The deal with an investment of over USD 50 billion includes funds to protect against droughts and floods, in addition to a major investment in weatherization.
Clean Drinking Water - Currently, up to 10 million American households and 400,000 schools and child care centers lack safe drinking water. The deal’s USD 55 billion investment represents the largest investment in clean drinking water in American history, including dedicated funding to replace lead service lines and the dangerous chemical PFAS
High-Speed Internet - Broadband internet is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school learning, health care, and to stay connected. The deal’s USD 65 billion investment ensures every American has access to reliable high-speed internet with an historic investment in broadband infrastructure deployment, just as the federal government made a historic effort to provide electricity to every American nearly one hundred years ago.
Environmental Remediation - In thousands of rural and urban communities around the country, hundreds of thousands of former industrial and energy sites are now idle. The deal invests USD 21 billion in environmental remediation, making the largest investment in addressing the legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities and neighbourhoods in American history
Power Infrastructure - As the recent Texas power outages demonstrated, aging electric grid needs urgent modernization. The deal’s USD 73 billion investments is the single largest investment in clean energy transmission in American history. It upgrades our power infrastructure, including by building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy.