NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI – Members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation today joined with state officials and labor leaders in North Kingstown to call for passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a bipartisan infrastructure bill that would send approximately $1.7 billion over five years to Rhode Island for highway and bridge repairs.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would invest about $1 trillion in upgrading the nation’s infrastructure.  The bill passed the Senate last month by a bipartisan vote of 69-30 and will be taken up by the U.S. House of Representatives alongside a reconciliation infrastructure bill that is currently being negotiated.  

“Our infrastructure is key to economic growth and getting people where they need to go.  I’m proud to help pass this Senate bill and steer over $1.7 billion to Rhode Island highways, roads, and bridges over the next five years.  This legislation also includes significant investments in our transit systems, airports, ports, railways, technology, and clean water infrastructure,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD).

“Working across the aisle, I was proud to deliver this funding to improve highways and bridges in Rhode Island and to create good jobs and grow our economy in the process,” said Whitehouse, who worked to secure the highway and bridge funding as a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  “The bipartisan infrastructure bill is one of two pieces of the legislative package Congress is currently working on to invest in America and lead the planet to safety in the race against climate change.  Both parts of the package are important to Rhode Island’s future, and I’m working hard get them over the finish line.”

“We cannot afford to let this once-in-a-generation opportunity to repair our crumbling roads and bridges and create thousands of good-paying union jobs slip through our fingers,” said Rep. Jim Langevin.  “When I return to Washington, I’ll keep fighting to advance President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, so we can make our transportation infrastructure safer and more efficient for all Rhode Islanders.”

“Instead of just talking about fixing our crumbling infrastructure, President Biden has put together a bipartisan plan to repair and modernize our nation’s infrastructure,” said Rep. David N. Cicilline.  “The bipartisan infrastructure bill will not only rebuild our roads, bridges, and tunnels, but it will help put people back to work and make our country even more competitive.   For far too many years, we have fallen behind the rest of the industrialized world and now it is time that we have an infrastructure that meets the demands of the 21st century and improves the quality of life for all Americans.”

Today’s event took place in front of the Tower Hill Road Bridge, which is in need of a $17 million rehabilitation.  While the design phase of the bridge reconstruction is currently set to begin in 2025, the project would be undertaken sooner if the state receives an influx of federal infrastructure funding.

“An investment in our infrastructure is an investment in our economy and in our working families,” said Governor Dan McKee.  “This bill will create jobs, continue to address our roads and bridges, and improve our quality of life.  Workers in Rhode Island need this bill to pass - all Rhode Islanders need this bill to pass. I applaud our congressional delegation who is hard at work in Washington advocating for Rhode Island.”

“This bill would be a tremendous boon to Rhode Island, and allow us to accelerate projects and immediately implement them,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. said.  “We have the pipeline to execute projects quickly and whenever new opportunities for additional funding like this bill comes along we are ready to take that money and put it into the ground.”

A summary of some of the legislation’s benefits for Rhode Island is available here.