$60B released to states for infrastructure projects

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg speaks at a groundbreaking ceremony for the New Portal North Bridge project held in Kearny, N.J., Monday, Aug 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Stefan Jeremiah)

A nearly $60 billion infusion of federal funds for road, bridge and other transportation projects is being spread to all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Mitch Landrieu, President Biden’s infrastructure coordinator, announced the release of the money Tuesday.

The transportation dollars represent a $15.4 billion increase over what states received in formula-driven funds during fiscal year 2021, prior to implementation of the infrastructure law, according to the administration.

“Because of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, today we are sending historic levels of funding to every state to help modernize the roads and bridges Americans rely on every day,” Buttigieg said in a statement.

The administration calls the law the largest federal investment in the nation’s transportation infrastructure since the building of the interstate highway system in the 1950s and 60s.

The $59.9 billion will fund 12 different Federal Highway Administration formula-based programs. The biggest jump in funding is for the Bridge Formula Program, which helps pay for bridge repairs and replacements. That program is projected to increase 391% in fiscal year 2023, compared to fiscal year 2021, according to the administration’s calculations.

Funding from the infrastructure law has already helped pay for repairs on more than 2,400 bridges, including to support bridge replacement projects in Illinois, North Carolina and Alabama, the news release announcing the latest round of funds stated.

These are “long-term investments that are going to make a difference in people’s lives for decades to come,” Landrieu told reporters Tuesday.

For fiscal year 2023, 22 states are slated to get more than $1 billion in funding, with several large states getting much more. For instance, California’s allotment across all formula programs is $5.6 billion while Texas will get $5.4 billion and New York $2.7 billion.

Over a five-year period, the law is expected to provide around $350 billion in both formula-based and competitive federal highway spending. In addition to funding traditional transportation priorities, the money is also funding new programs aimed at carbon reduction, expanding infrastructure for electric cars, and shoring up roads and bridges that are vulnerable to natural disasters.

Biden signed the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill into law in November 2021.