White House releases $110 billion in infrastructure funds

By Andy Brown and ReutersMay 17, 2022

Workers prepare a cabling trench at a construction site at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), March 30, 2022 REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

Shovel-ready projects got a shot in the arm this week as the White House released $110 billion in infrastructure funding, effectively pushing the ‘go’ button for work in many areas.

According to a report from Reuters, the White House released $110 billion in funding from the $1-trillion infrastructure package that aims to fix crumbling roads, expand broadband internet and improve the electrical grid, among other goals.

Monday, May 16, marked the six-month anniversary of President Joe Biden’s signing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). It coincides with the 2022 Infrastructure Week

“We’re hitting the ground running on the projects that are shovel-ready,” White House Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu told reporters.

Landrieu said the administration has “pushed $110 billion out of the doors to the states” and made another $100 billion available in opportunities to fund infrastructure projects.

The $110 billion includes funding for over 4,300 specific projects. A couple thousand of those are airport allocations, the White House said.

Landrieu acknowledged some bigger projects will take longer: “Some of them – like major tunnels, major thruways, a lot of the rail projects, are going to take a little bit more time ... This is going to be ‘Infrastructure Decade’.”

BIL includes $110 billion for roads, bridges and major projects; $65 billion to expand broadband access and affordability; $66 billion for rail; $55 billion for water infrastructure; $25 billion for airports; $39.2 billion in new transit spending; and $5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Transportation opened for applications $1 billion in 2022 grant funding for communities to help address mounting traffic deaths.

Communities can apply to use ‘Safe Streets’ funds to add roadway safety features like “centerline and shoulder rumble strips” or “traffic calming road design changes ... and making strategic use of speed safety cameras,” the DoT said Monday in a briefing document.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in February U.S. traffic deaths rose 12% in the first nine months of 2021 to 31,720 – the highest number killed on American roads in that period since 2006. NHTSA plans to release full-year preliminary 2021 data this week.

“We face a national crisis of fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways, and these tragedies are preventable - so as a nation we must work urgently and collaboratively to save lives,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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