What does the $1.2T infrastructure bill mean for California?


(KTXL) — President Joe Biden signed the long-stalled $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package Monday.

The legislation is being called the biggest investment in the nation’s roads and bridges in decades.

According to the White House, 1 in 5 miles of American roadway is in poor shape. That amounts to about 173,000 miles — many of them right here in California.

FOX40 was the first to speak to Congressman John Garamendi, D-Davis, after President Biden’s first bipartisan meeting on what is now new law to improve infrastructure nationwide. Garamendi was at Monday’s signing.

“It’s not an easy piece of legislation to get through,” Garamendi said. “It’s a very, very important piece. As the president said, this is a very important piece of legislation that can be described in just four letters — j-o-b-s.”

After so many reservoirs around the state dipped to dangerously low levels during California’s intensifying drought, critics tore into Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration and those past for not investing in more water storage. The president’s infrastructure bill will send $8 billion to the west for that.

Additionally, $384 million will go toward expanding charging networks for electric vehicles across the state.

As for the bridges some of those cars may travel over locally, Chris Lee with the California State Association of Counties said funding is badly needed.

“One of the things we’re most excited about is the bridge funding because that’s really been stagnant for several years,” he told FOX40. “We need to be spending about $800 million a year statewide just to keep our local bridges in a good condition, in the condition that they’re in right now, but we’ve only been spending about $300 million. One of the biggest projects in the Sacramento region that’s on the priority list for that would be the I Street Bridge replacement in downtown Sacramento.”

Connectivity via the information superhighway is also a big part of the infrastructure bill. Almost 550,000 Californians lack access to reliable broadband coverage — a problem exacerbated by the pandemic.

With this new money, more than 10 and a half million low-income citizens in the Golden State will be eligible for the affordability connectivity benefit that will bring them internet service.

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