Washington — A bipartisan bill to spend $1.2 trillion on rebuilding the nation's roads and bridges, expanding internet access and other projects to upgrade the nation's infrastructure will add millions of jobs over the coming decade, proponents of the measure say.
The bill is heading to President Biden's desk for his signature after itlate Friday night, nearly three months after it was approved with bipartisan support . Mr. Biden is poised to sign the legislation in the coming days, and the White House estimates on projects funded by the infrastructure measure by the spring.
The legislation, Mr. Biden said Saturday, is a "once-in-a-generation investment that's going to create millions of jobs modernizing our infrastructure, our roads, our bridges, our broadband, a whole range of things, to turn the climate crisis into an opportunity."
The House's passage of the physical infrastructure bill was the culmination of months of negotiations between congressional Democrats and the White House over the details of a broader social spending and climate change package, which muddied the path forward for the $1.2 trillion plan in the lower chamber.
While talks between moderate and progressive Democrats at times appeared on the brink of collapse, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was forced to delay two votes on the the infrastructure bill due to opposition from the progressive flank of the Democratic Party, the logjam broke Friday, and the House delivered Mr. Biden a major legislative win.
With $550 billion in new spending, here's a breakdown of what the infrastructure measure would do:
Roads and bridges
The bill provides $110 billion to repair the nation's aging. According to the White House, 173,000 total miles of America's highways and major roads and 45,000 bridges are in poor condition. And the almost $40 billion for bridges is the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system, according to the Biden administration.
The $39 billion for public transit in the legislation expands transportation systems, improvesfor people with disabilities and provides dollars to state and local governments to buy zero-emission and low-emission buses. The Department of Transportation estimates that the current repair backlog is more than 24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, 200 stations and thousands of miles of track and power systems.
Passenger and freight rail
To reduce Amtrak's maintenance backlog, which has worsened since Superstorm Sandy nine years ago, the bill provides $66 billion to improve the rail service's 457-mile-longas well as other routes. It's less than the $80 billion Mr. Biden — who famously rode Amtrak from Delaware to D.C. during his time in the Senate — originally asked for, but it would be the largest federal investment in passenger rail service since Amtrak was founded 50 years ago.
The bill spends $7.5 billion for electric vehicle, which the administration says are critical to accelerating the use of electric vehicles to curb climate change. It also provides $5 billion for the purchase of electric school buses and hybrids, reducing reliance on school buses that run on diesel fuel.
The legislation's $65 billion foraims to improve internet services for rural areas, low-income families and tribal communities. Most of the money would be made available through grants to states.
To protect against the widespreadthat have become more frequent in recent years, the bill spends $65 billion to improve the reliability and resiliency of the nation's power grid. It also boosts carbon capture technologies and more environmentally-friendly electricity sources like clean hydrogen.
The bill spends $25 billion to improve runways, gates and taxiways at airports and to improve terminals. It would also improve infrastructure at air traffic control facilities.
Water and wastewater
To improve the safety of the nation's drinking water, the legislation will spend $55 billion on water and wastewater infrastructure. The bill includes $15 billion to replaceand $10 billion to address water contamination from polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS — chemicals that were used in the production of Teflon and have also been used in firefighting foam, water-repellent clothing and many other items.
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