Federal Infrastructure Bill Could Help Fund Local Projects

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Highways, waterways and public transportation are about to get a big makeover from the federal infrastructure bill. So which projects in our area could get some of that federal money? 

The $1.2-trillion dollar infrastructure bill has been touted as a game changer for our dilapidated roads, bridges and transportation systems.

“I don’t think we can underestimate the impact of this,” said Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce.

According to TRIP, a private nonprofit organization that evaluates transportation issues, New York and Pennsylvania’s highways and bridges are in desperate need of repairs. They’re considered to have some of the poorest conditions in the U.S.

With this bill, New York is expected to get more than $12-billion for highway improvements and over in Pennsylvania, they’re slated to get a little more than $11-billion.

PennDOT said some of that money could go towards a couple of projects in Erie, like the $43-million dollar project improving the multimodal connection of the Erie Central Business District to the waterfront property to help with congestion and reduce crashes.

Pennsylvania is also expected to get $1.4-billion dollars over the next five years to improve water infrastructure. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) couldn’t speak with us but he Tweeted that 160-thousand lead service lines pose direct health risk to Pennsylvanians and this money will help make sure people have clean drinking water.

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) said the bill sets aside billions of dollars for railways. He says this is important for his district where they make passenger rail cars.

“That’s gonna help our folks have a job for years to come,” said Rep. Reed.

And that’s not all.

“It’s also the largest investment in public transit ever funding that will expand services to communities of all sizes,” said Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation.

According to Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), about $10-million dollars could head to Elmira’s C-TRAN system. The Senator said that money could help modernize transit systems and replace aging buses with zero emission vehicles.

We reached out to C-TRAN on this but did not hear back.

We’re still waiting for President Biden to give the final approval on this infrastructure bill, but we expect him to sign it later this week.


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