President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill will pump billions into Pennsylvania.
Driving the news: The House passed the legislation Friday night, with most Democrats and 13 Republicans — including Pennsylvania’s own Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick — in support.
- The bill, hailed by Biden as a “once-in-a-generation investment,” now goes to the president’s desk.
Why it matters: Pennsylvania is slated to get $11.3 billion for highway projects and $1.6 billion for bridge replacement and repairs over five years.
- The state’s highways are rated among the worst in the nation for road and bridge deterioration, according to a report from TRIP, a national transportation nonprofit.
State of play: There are more than 3,350 bridges and 7,540 miles of highway described as in “poor condition” across the state, according to the White House.
- Since 2011, commutes have increased by 7.6% in Pennsylvania, and drivers pay, on average, $620 per year because of roads in need of repair.
By the numbers: Over five years, Pennsylvania expects to receive roughly $2.8 billion for public transportation, and $1.4 billion to improve water infrastructure. Other allocations include:
- $355 million for airport infrastructure improvements
- $49 million for wildfire protections
- $26 million for security against cyberattacks
Between the lines: Biden’s plan also includes $1 billion for the Reconnecting Communities Initiative designed to rectify damage caused by highways predominantly built through communities of color.
- U.S. Rep Dwight Evans (D-Pa.) co-sponsored it to help Philadelphia neighborhoods like Nicetown and Chinatown, which were respectively split by the Roosevelt and Vine Street expressways.
What they’re saying: Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) tweeted that the bill “is the single-largest investment in our nation’s infrastructure in generations.”
- “America’s infrastructure has reached a breaking point, and this is a challenge we can no longer ignore,” Rep. Fitzpatrick said in a statement.
The other side: Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), who voted against the bill, said, “While American families face record-high inflation and businesses can’t find workers, Democrats prioritize woke police that will only make things worse.”
- Meanwhile, Republican Rep. Glenn Thompson, who’s also from Pennsylvania, said the legislation is “full of budget gimmicks and will cost American taxpayers trillions of dollars.”
What’s ahead: A spokesperson from the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office told Axios the city expects to put the funding toward new infrastructure grant programs, but further details remain unclear at this time.