infra federal funding 111221SPRINGFIELD – Illinois will see more than $17 billion of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill passed by Congress earlier this year, a move Senate Democrats applaud.

The federal government passed a long-term investment plan to boost the nation’s infrastructure. This bipartisan legislation seeks to rebuild the country’s roads, bridges, ports, rails and airports. It also ensures that people have access to high-speed internet and takes action to mitigate the effects of climate change. The efforts of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will add up to 1.5 million jobs per year, providing an opportunity to boost the economy as well.

An analysis conducted by the White House and U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth calculated the impact this legislation will have on Illinois over the next five years. Substantial funding will go to federal highway and other transportation projects —including statewide bridge replacement and repair.

Tackling public transportation efficiency is also prioritized by this legislation. Communities of color are twice as likely to take public transportation, according to the White House, and many of these systems are in a state of disrepair or are not available near these communities. The state hopes to bring more equitable conditions for these communities through a $4 billion investment, while also focusing on how these funds can modernize public transit and reduce greenhouse emissions

To improve competitiveness, the money allocated through the infrastructure deal also seeks to address the neglect experienced by ports and airports. Under-investments in the nation’s supply chain infrastructure cause congestion and backlog, but this deal will drive modernization in these industries to support resilient and sustainable streams of movement. The infrastructures package will also include $66 billion to upgrade rail passenger service and maintain Amtrak. Illinois will provide competitive grants to further stimulate the repair of its commercial ports.

The state will also use $100 million to expand broadband coverage across its regions. The pandemic exacerbated the need for reliable broadband for jobs, education, health care and staying connected. The infrastructure package addresses this area with hopes to provide affordable and reliable high-speed internet across the state.

Climate change mitigation will come in the form of investing in clean energy. Electric vehicles and zero-emission technology will bring the state closer to its goal of being 100% green by 2050. Further, water quality will be improved with the removal of lead pipes.

The investments being made in Illinois will make the state a safer, more reliable place to live while providing thousands of jobs. More information about the federal infrastructure bill can be found here.