Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin is set to attend President Joe Biden’s signing of the landmark Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a $1.2 trillion dollar infrastructure package that passed Congress Nov. 5.
The historic legislation pumps federal funds into roads, rails, bridges, and ports across the country, along with funding to high-speed internet access, among other investments.
“This Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will rebuild America’s roads, bridges and rails, expand access to clean drinking water, ensure every American has access to high-speed internet, tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice, and invest in communities that have too often been left behind,” the White House said in a statement Nov. 6. “The legislation will help ease inflationary pressures and strengthen supply chains by making long overdue improvements for our nation’s ports, airports, rail, and roads. It will drive the creation of good-paying union jobs and grow the economy sustainably and equitably so that everyone gets ahead for decades to come. Combined with the President’s Build Back Framework, it will add on average 1.5 million jobs per year for the next 10 years.”
According to a factsheet on the bill from the White House, Alabama is expected to receive “$5.2 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs” and $225 million for bridge repair and replacements. The state would also receive more than $400 million over five years for public transportation options statewide.
$79 million is also expected to be given for expanding electronic vehicle recharging networks in Alabama.
For broadband access, according to the White House, the state will receive “a minimum allocation of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state,” including the 565,000 Alabama residents who lack access to broadband internet. $19 million is also earmarked for protection against cyberattacks.
$3.5 billion dollars alone is expected to be given for weatherization investments to Alabama homes to reduce energy cost, with $23 million for protecting against wildfires also included.
“This is a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation which will directly benefit the people of Birmingham and our state,” Woodfin said in a statement Sunday. “This will truly be a game-changer for Birmingham, allowing investments in our roads and bridges, and potentially millions to upgrade and expand public transit, broadband infrastructure and our storm water system. I thank President Biden and Vice President Harris for their leadership and Congresswoman Sewell for her support of the Infrastructure and Jobs Act.”
President Biden will sign the legislation into law Nov. 15 at the White House.