Congress has finally passed President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. Here’s how it could impact the D.C. region:
The District could be getting nearly $3 billion in federal funding for infrastructure investments over the next five years, including a 50% boost in funding for this fiscal year, according to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.
While it’s still unclear how the money will be spent, it could go toward projects that have already been announced, including improvements to Union Station and the Long Bridge project expanding passenger capacity for Amtrak and regional carriers.
This legislation also gives Metro much needed long-term funding — $150 million through 2030 — as it faces recent safety issues, slowdowns and a drop in ridership.
The Commonwealth could be getting an estimated $8.89 billion for highway, bridge and transit investments over the next five years, according the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.
David Snyder, vice chair of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, said some of that money will help fund rail system improvements.
“The state of VA has a particularly aggressive plan for railroads to really link parts of Virginia by rail and thereby reduce congestion on the highways,” Snyder said. “I think the money that will go for railroads will be particularly important for Virginia.”
Virginia Sen. Mark Warner said the billions of dollars Virginia is getting will also go toward investing in ports, regional airports and expanding broadband.
The Old Line State could expect to get $6.47 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, including a 36% increase for this fiscal year. Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin said the infrastructure package reopens the door to reviving the scuttled Red Line light rail project in the Baltimore area, as well as providing billion of dollars for area roads, bridges, transit systems, including WMATA, and record funding for restoring the Chesapeake Bay.
Maryland lawmakers reacted positively to the infrastructure package, including Democrat Rep. David Trone who cheered broadband provisions that will bring more than $100 million to connect Marylanders to high-speed internet.
Sen. Chris Van Hollen celebrated the passage of the bill, saying in a statement that it would help to “modernize our infrastructure to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”
Hollen said it is currently estimated that Maryland will receive around $6 billion from the infrastructure bill.
In a statement, Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger said “This bill is an opportunity to literally build back from the COVID-19 crisis better than ever. Funding for Maryland’s roads, bridges, waterways and broadband will not only create good-paying jobs, but will keep products and people on the move.”
In total, the D.C region could be getting around $18 billion for infrastructure investments, according to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. Snyder said local leaders will now focus on learning exactly how much they can get from the infrastructure bill and where to allocate it.
“One thing you can be sure of as a region and each of our individual localities are going to be gearing up to make the maximum effective use of these dollars to address our transportation challenges some of which have been long-standing,” Snyder said.