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California will soon receive $849.4 million in federal funds to repair and improve 1,536 bridges across the state thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, recently announced.
Over the next five years, California will receive $4.2 billion of the $110 billion the Biden Administration plans to administer to road and bridge repair projects nationwide. The funds are the single-largest investment in reconstructing U.S. roads since the creation of the Interstate Highway System in 1956, according to the legislation’s fact sheet.
Congress in November approved the $1.2 trillion spending bill, which also promises to add on 1.5 million jobs per year for the next 10 years, deliver clean water to families, provide high-speed internet to all Americans, improve public transportation, strengthen the nation’s airports and ports and invest in a zero-emissions future.
“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is going to create millions of jobs while repairing our bridges throughout California,” Thompson said in a statement. “I’m proud to announce the first round of funding that is on its way to connect our communities, grow our economy, and make our bridges safe for generations to come.”
“Investing in our bridges will create good-paying jobs, improve safety for motorists, and keep our economy moving efficiently.”Sen. Alex Padilla
U.S. Sens. Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., also expressed support for the infrastructure law.
“This funding will go a long way to increase the safety, stability and lifespan of our state’s bridges, especially in the face of earthquakes. This funding will also generate good-paying jobs in communities throughout California,” Feinstein said in a statement.
Padilla said bridges are essential to California’s economy, as they help commuters get to work and keep goods moving through the supply chain.
“Investing in our bridges will create good-paying jobs, improve safety for motorists, and keep our economy moving efficiently,” Padilla said in a statement.
The funding will also be available for bridges on tribal lands, along with “off-system” bridges, which is any infrastructure not on the federal highway system. States will be incentivized to allocate funds to off-system bridges owned by local county and city agencies.
Federal funding traditionally requires states or local governments to match amounts up to 20 percent, but this funding can instead be used immediately.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is thrilled to launch this program to fix thousands of bridges across the country — the largest investment of its kind in U.S. history,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. “Modernizing America’s bridges will help improve safety, support economic growth and make people’s lives better in every part of the country — in rural, suburban, city, and tribal communities.”