Funding will go to repairing, rebuilding local roads, highways, bridges, mitigating climate change, boosting broadband internet and more
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed today by President Joe Biden will allow local, regional and state agencies throughout the state the opportunity to fund vital transportation improvements, reduce the impacts of climate change, and expand broadband internet so that more state residents have a better chance for the success that comes from being connected.
“SJCOG will be looking at the details of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to best help our jurisdictions — San Joaquin County and the cities of Stockton, Lodi, Manteca, Tracy, Ripon, Escalon and Lathrop — to both explore and take advantage of opportunities to fund a range of projects,” said San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) Chair Leo Zuber, a Ripon City Council member.
SJCOG is the planning, financing and coordinating agency for the San Joaquin region overseeing such areas as transportation, housing and habitat conservation. SJCOG partners with a network of local governments, private organizations and community groups to deliver a variety of local, state and federal programs that support the streets, roads, highways, public transit, and other transportation resources that help San Joaquin County residents get where they need to be.
Zuber also singled out the region’s congressional representatives for their ongoing help in funding vital regional projects.
“Reps. Jerry McNerney and Josh Harder have been excellent partners in championing ways to fund regional projects that ultimately raise the quality of life for the people living and working in their districts and beyond,” said Zuber. “We thank them for their roles in the infrastructure bill and their steadfast commitment to San Joaquin County.”
This was an important win for San Joaquin Valley residents.
“Decade after decade, we’ve watched our San Joaquin Valley gets passed over, while billions flowed into San Francisco and LA,” said Rep. Harder. “This bill is the investment our community needs, and I’m proud to have helped get it done. Folks in the valley sent me to Congress to work with Republicans and Democrats alike to deliver new jobs and more funding to our community. That’s exactly what we’ve accomplished today.”
Rep. McNerney concurred.
“California leads the world on many fronts, but when it comes to infrastructure, serious investment is needed,” said Rep. McNerney. “On a letter grade scale, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave California a C-, which may put us above other states, but Californians deserve better. … These investments are crucial to our region — from updating and upgrading our ports to enhancing our electric grid — our district will directly benefit from this legislation. We will build a more sustainable, resilient community while also bolstering our economy by employing local workers through union contracts, paying good union wages. This legislation is a win for the nation, but especially for Californians.”
For San Joaquin County, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could help fund a variety of vital programs and projects.
“The funding that will come from the act signed today provides us with a very exciting opportunity to repair, rebuild and expand the infrastructure in California,” said SJCOG Executive Director Diane Nguyen. “San Joaquin County is a major transportation hub with interconnecting highways, an inland port, passenger and freight rail services, distribution warehouse centers, and airports, all dependent on an efficient, smoothly operating infrastructure.
Nguyen will be a panelist for “The Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: A Conversation on the Impact in Central California” at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 18. Learn more about the event and the other panelists and register for the WTS Central Valley event at https://bit.ly/3BQaZ50.
While it is still too early to tell how much money will make its way to local and regional jurisdictions, the White House has suggested what California will receive. The White House’s California fact sheet for the roughly $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has more details, but generally it will:
- Repair and rebuild roads and bridges focusing on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity, and safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians. California should expect $25.3 billion for highway improvements and $4.2 billion for bridge replacement and repairs over five years, with a portion of that going to local and regional agencies.
- Improve public transportation options across the state. California should expect $9.45 billion over five years and local and regional agencies should receive a portion of that to help public transit operators.
- Support expanding the charging network for electric vehicles (EV) that would likely reduce barriers to EV ownership, reduce vehicle emissions and improve air quality. California will receive $384 million over five years.
- Help provide broadband coverage across the state, including access to the half million or more Californians who lack it now. The state will receive a minimum of $100 million. Some 10.6 million Californians will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access. More internet connectivity promotes equality and opens work-from-home and e-commerce opportunities to many more people.
- Help Californians become more resilient against climate change, cyberattacks, and extreme weather events, such as droughts, wildfires, flooding and severe storms. The state can expect $84 million over five years to protect against wildfires and $40 million to protect against cyberattacks. Californians will also benefit from the bill’s historic $3.5 billion national investment in weatherization, which will reduce energy costs for families.
- Improve water infrastructure across the state and ensure that clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities. California can expect $3.5 billion over five years.
- Improve infrastructure at airports across California where airports would receive about $1.5 billion over five years. Nationwide, the bill will invest $17 billion in port infrastructure and waterways and $25 billion in airports to address repair and maintenance backlogs, reduce congestion and emissions near ports and airports, drive electrification and other low-carbon technologies, and likely prevent supply change delays such as those being experienced recently.
Next, federal agencies such as the Department of Transportation will begin implementing the law, developing new programs, and finding ways to get the money to the states. Local and regional agencies, which own and operate most of the infrastructure, must then design and build new facilities, hire more workers, and mobilize their own financial resources. For updates on what this means to San Joaquin County, visit SJCOG’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act webpage.