The $1 trillion infrastructure bill: What’s in it for Florida?
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - President Joe Biden signed the highly debated $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law on Monday at a splashy bipartisan ceremony for hundreds on the White House South Lawn, where lawmakers and union workers cheered and clapped.
It’s been touted as the largest long-term investment in U.S. infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century.
Overall, the bill contains $110 billion to repair aging highways, bridges and roads. According to the White House, 173,000 total miles of U.S. highways and major roads and 45,000 bridges are in poor condition. The law has almost $40 billion for bridges, the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the national highway system, according to the Biden administration.
Many of the particulars of how the money is spent will be up to state governments. So what does this mean for Florida?
In a fact sheet prepared by the White House, Florida has 408 bridges and more than 3,564 miles of highway in poor condition. Since 2011, commute times for Floridians have increased by 11.6% in Florida.
Florida expects to receive $13.1 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $245 million for bridge replacement and repairs under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act over five years. Florida can also compete for the $12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program for economically significant bridges and nearly $16 billion of national funding in the bill dedicated for major projects that will deliver substantial economic benefits to communities.
Floridians who take public transportation spend an extra 77.9% of their time commuting and non-White households are 3.5 times more likely to commute via public transportation. Based on formula funding alone, Florida would expect to receive $2.6 billion over five years to improve public transportation options across the state.
The bill invests $7.5 billion to build a national network of electric vehicle chargers in the U.S. to address the climate crisis and support domestic manufacturing jobs. Florida would expect to receive $198 million over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state.
Florida will also have the opportunity to apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging in the bill.
About 13% of Florida households do not have an internet subscription. Under the bill, Florida will receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, including providing access to the at least 700,000 Floridians who currently lack it.
Also, more than 6 million people in Florida will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access.
Weather, cyber attacks
From 2010 to 2020, Florida has experienced 22 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $100 billion in damages. Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, based on historical formula funding levels,
Florida will expect to receive $26 million over five years to protect against wildfires and $29 million to protect against cyberattacks.
Florida will expect to receive $1.6 billion over five years to improve water infrastructure across the state and ensure that clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities.
The bill is expected to provide Florida airports with approximately $1.2 billion for infrastructure development for airports over five years.
--Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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