This past Friday, the U.S. House passed the infrastructure package 228-206, sending the bill to the President’s desk for signature. This is a big deal for Chicago and Illinois!
Meanwhile, the reconciliation package will now move separately and has a much longer path ahead. The House is hoping to take it up the week of November 15, and then it has to go back through the Senate, where it faces challenges.
Here’s an overview of what’s in the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package:
- This is a historic amount of money going towards infrastructure, much of it in addition to a more traditional surface transportation bill — $550 billion in new investment, on top of a nearly $650 billion highway trust fund baseline of surface transportation programs. Many programs of importance to the City of Chicago are included: significant boosts and first-time funding for water infrastructure/lead service lines, broadband, bridges, safer streets, and interstate passenger rail.
- The bill spans five years and includes a mix of formula and competitive funding. And, here is a little more on the NEW funding, on top of the surface transportation baseline:
- $110 billion in additional funding for highways, $40 billion for bridges, and $17.5 billion for major complex projects.
- $39 billion for transit, including $1.75 billion for a competitive program to support transit accessibility. This initiative has been pushed by Chicago and is a win for the City’s efforts.
- $66 billion for passenger rail (this is very big, relative to past funding levels). Within these totals, $22 million would be provided as grants to Amtrak, $24 billion as federal-state partnership grants for Northeast Corridor modernization, $12 billion for partnership grants for intercity rail service, including high-speed rail, $5 billion for rail improvement and safety grants, and $3 billion for grade crossing safety improvements.
- $7.5 billion to build out electric vehicle infrastructure.
- $7.5 billion for electric buses and ferries.
- $1 billion for reconnecting communities to fund planning, design, demolition, and reconstruction of street grids and parks.
- $25 billion for airports.
- Over $50 billion for resiliency to mitigate impacts of climate change and cyber-attacks.
- $55 billion for clean water and lead service line replacement.
- $65 billion for broadband infrastructure, especially for rural communities.
- $21 billion for environmental remediation.
- $73 billion for electric grid.
We are excited about what’s to come: job creation, a much-needed and more robust infrastructure, and ultimately a better quality of life. Here’s to a brighter future, not only for our City and state but also for the entire country.