Transportation Secretary Announces $1.8 Billion in Infrastructure Grants Across US

The grants include millions for roadway improvements.

Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced $1.8 billion in nationwide infrastructure grants on June 26.

The grants will be awarded to improve road safety as well as put toward “revitalizing communities and creating economic opportunity” in certain regions, according to a statement.

The investments track 148 different projects across the country and stem from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program. With the new projects included, RAISE grants have now invested roughly $7.2 billion throughout more than 550 projects in the United States.

“After decades of underinvestment, the condition of America’s infrastructure is now finally getting better instead of worse,” Mr. Buttigieg said in a statement.

President Joe Biden signed the $1 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in November 2021, which found support on both sides of the aisle, including from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The funding package included investments in roads, bridges, ports, rail transit, the power grid, internet access, and safe water, with $110 billion alone for repairing aging highways, bridges, and roads throughout the country. The law also earmarked $39 billion for public transit.

As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, RAISE is allocated $1.5 billion every year on top of already appropriated funds.

The program splits the funding equally between urban and rural areas, with significant allocations mandated to regions that are “historically disadvantaged” or beset with “persistent poverty,” according to the statement.

Mr. Buttigieg said the funding allows for projects to “make roads safer,” increase transportation options within communities, fortify the transportation infrastructure to handle extreme weather, and “improve supply chains to keep costs down for consumers.”

Notable Projects

Alaska will receive $25 million for the Alaska Highway Permafrost Degradation Restoration Project to restore roughly 45 miles of the Alaska Highway that is affected by thawing permafrost and “other climate change-related degradation,” according to the Transportation Department.

The project intends to maintain the state’s critical transportation corridor between it and the lower 48 states, as well as improve roadway safety.

The department allocated roughly $66.9 million dollars for three infrastructure projects in Michigan, including just over $20 million for shared-use paths in Detroit that include roadway safety improvements and improved pedestrian access.

The city of Kalamazoo, Michigan, will see $25 million for 3.5 miles of roadway conversions to “create a connect multi-modal network,” and roughly $21 million will go towards improving the Menominee Harbor in the state’s Upper Peninsula.

Florida’s Lake Wales Complete Streets Project will also receive $22.9 million to redevelop four road segments in Lake Wales and “create a more affordable active transportation network.” The department also allocated more than $24 million for roadway overhauls in Tampa, including pavement resurfacing, new sidewalks, and new shared-use trails for pedestrians and cyclists.

Heavy traffic inches along Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa, Fla. on April 15, 2023. (Nanette Holt/The Epoch Times)
Heavy traffic inches along Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa, Fla. on April 15, 2023. (Nanette Holt/The Epoch Times)

There is also roughly $19 million going to Toledo, Ohio, to construct an approximately 4,184-foot, one-mile multi-use path as part of the Glass City Riverwalk project. It provides an “off-road, shared-use facility that will allow cyclists and pedestrians to travel a safe distance away from vehicles, reducing the number of accidents,” the department said.

Additionally, the department invested $25 million for a roadway reconstruction project in Santa Ana, California. A portion of Santa Ana Boulevard will receive a new underpass for its rail crossing to “eliminate vehicle idling” and traffic delays. The “overcross” will also feature a pedestrian walkway.

The Transportation Department has released a full list of the grants, including its breakdowns for each project.

Budget Hearing

Mr. Buttigieg also testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on June 27 about the department’s budget.

He touted the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and said the United States is in “the middle of an infrastructure decade unlike anything this country has seen since the Eisenhower administration.”

“There’s a lot of important work going on right now making communities more accessible, creating good-paying jobs across the country, and keeping our supply chains strong,” Mr. Buttigieg told the committee.

The secretary highlighted new investments for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through the Bipartisan FAA Reauthorization Bill passed in April, which included funding to hire more air traffic controllers.

Mr. Buttigieg said the FAA is “on pace” to ending its shortage of controllers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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