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Bay Area to receive $4.5 billion in federal infrastructure package

The Bay Area will receive $4.5 billion over the next five years from the recently passed federal infrastructure funding package, a group of Bay Area members of Congress said Tuesday.

The funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which President Joe Biden signed last week, will support repairs and renovations for the region’s roads and bridges, aging water systems, public transit networks and access to broadband internet, among other things.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto; Barbara Lee, D-Oakland; Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo/San Francisco; and Mark DeSaulnier, D-Walnut Creek, as well as local union leaders in San Francisco to discuss how the $1.2 trillion funding package will benefit both the region and the country at large.

“Every two minutes in America, a water main breaks,” Eshoo said. “The total amount of treated water wasted every day in our country is about 6 billion gallons, or 9,000 swimming pools. Here in the Bay Area, commuters pre-pandemic spent 103 hours a year stuck in traffic. This legislation is pointed to resolving all of this.”

California is expected to receive $47.2 billion in funding from the law, which Lee and other officials noted will help modernize historically unsupported and polluted areas of the state by expanding access to electric vehicle charging ports and low- or zero-emission buses.

“This law is a transformational and long-overdue investment in the country and its people,” Lee said. “For decades, underinvestment in our physical and social infrastructure has widened the economic gap, put communities at risk and exacerbated racial and economic inequality.”

According to Speier, California’s share of the funds will include $25 billion to repair the state’s highways, $384 million to expand access to electric vehicle charging stations, $100 million to expand broadband internet access, $1.5 billion for the state’s major airports and $25 million to protect wetlands in the Bay Area.

Congressional Democrats also expect the infrastructure improvements and repairs to create 1 million jobs over the next decade.

The majority of the funding package comes from repurposed unspent COVID-19 pandemic relief funding and stronger federal tax enforcement.

“This is about good-paying jobs for America’s working families,” Pelosi said. “It’s about clean air, clean water for our children. It’s about quality-of-life improvement for families … and all of it paid for by making everyone pay his or her fair share.”

Copyright © 2021 by Bay City News, Inc. 

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