Initial $290 Million Payment Heading to RI to Upgrade State’s Highways
WASHINGTON, DC – Rhode Island is getting its first down payment under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), who helped pass the law, says the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will provide $289,730,682 in transportation funding for Rhode Island highways and surface transportation projects.
“This is a big boost for Rhode Island’s highway infrastructure that will help the state make these well-travelled corridors safer, more resilient, and reduce congestion,” said Senator Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee. “There will be a lot more money coming to Rhode Island under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and that money needs to be put to work creating jobs, modernizing our infrastructure, and making it work better for every Rhode Islander in every community.”
This infusion of federal funds may be used to repair roads, bridges and highways, along with other strategies to reduce traffic incidents.
More federal infrastructure funding for Rhode Island is expected to be announced in the near future and will help the state upgrade other critical infrastructure, including public transportation, mass-transit, rail, ports, and airports.
Over the life of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Reed estimates that Rhode Island should get over $1.7 billion in highway funding, $277 million for mass-transit, $45 million for airports, and $23 million for new electric vehicle charging stations.
Rhode Island will also receive $100 million to expand high-speed internet coverage and help low-income residents get affordable reliable Internet access. In the digital age it is no longer enough to have limited or slow internet access. Connectivity facilitates education, opportunity, employment and connection.
In addition to federal formula funds that will go directly to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA), the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC), and other state entities, Senator Reed also noted that Rhode Island will be able to apply for and receive additional federal funding under a $12.5 billion competitive program for economically significant bridges and a $16 billion program to fund major projects deemed to provide substantial economic benefits. There’s also $30 billion to make improvements for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor guided by environmental and state input, $8 billion set aside for capital improvement grants that could benefit Rhode Island transit, $15 billion for the RAISE Grant program, and $5.25 billion for low and no emissions bus grants.
Senator Reed also notes the bipartisan infrastructure bill includes $55 billion for water infrastructure, which would represent the largest investment in clean drinking water and waste water infrastructure in American history. Senator Reed estimates that Rhode Island should receive about $377.6 million to strengthen the state’s clean water infrastructure under the bill.
“The investments in this bill will help us build on the progress we’ve made and make critical advancements toward modernizing our electrical grid, water mains, and sewage systems. It will help replace old lead pipes and deliver clean water. It will make America more energy-efficient while reducing congestion and pollution and creating new jobs,” emphasized Senator Reed.
The federal funding from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would provide Rhode Island a big boost toward improving the state’s infrastructure. Recently the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Rhode Island a C- grade on its infrastructure report card.
Highlights of the bill include:
- Over $370 billion for roads, bridges, and major projects.
- $90 billion for public transit.
- $73 billion to upgrade America’s power grid.
- $66 billion for passenger and freight rail, including a $30 billion set aside for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.
- $65 billion to upgrade America’s broadband infrastructure and bring affordable broadband service to more homes.
- $55 billion for clean water.
- $47 billion to address resiliency and protect communities.
- $25 billion for airports.
- $21 billion for environmental remediation.
- $17 billion for ports and waterways.
- $15 billion for electric vehicles, including $7.5 billion to create a first-ever, national network of charging stations for electric vehicles and billions of dollars for electric buses, including $2.5 billion for zero emission buses and $2.5 billion for low emission busses, and another $2.5 billion for ferries.
- $11 billion for road safety, 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.
- $1 billion to help reconnect communities that were divided by the interstate highway system.