After weeks of haggling behind closed doors, a bipartisan group of senators finally reached an agreement on Wednesday on the key details of a comprehensive infrastructure bill that will include $ 550 billion in new spending.
The law would allow federal funds to flow into physical infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, passenger rails, drinking water and sewage systems, as well as the expansion of high-speed Internet and climate-relevant infrastructure. The White House says the investment under President Joe Biden’s agenda will create an average of 2 million jobs a year.
Essential details of the draft law, which does not yet have to be published in full, are not known – especially with regard to its offsetting. Here’s what we know so far, according to a White House datasheet:
- Roads and bridges: US $ 110 billion in new funding will be made available for roads, bridges and other major projects. This includes $ 40 billion to repair and replace bridges, which the White House calls the largest such investment since the New Deal-era highway system, and $ 17.5 billion for unspecified “major projects”. The agreement will also re-authorize a bipartisan land transportation program for the next five years.
- Traffic safety: The deal will use $ 11 billion to reduce car accidents and deaths, including through a Safe Streets for All program. It will also double the funds allocated to other road safety improvement programs.
- Public transport: The plan provides $ 39 billion to modernize local public transport and improve accessibility for people with disabilities. The investment – the largest of its kind in US history, says the White House – will replace thousands of buses and other mass transit vehicles with zero-emission upgrades.
- Passenger and freight railways: The deal would invest $ 66 billion to clean up Amtrak’s backlog, upgrade trains, and expand service.
- Electric vehicles and buses: The plan provides $ 15 billion in spending on charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, electric buses, and mass transit.
- A billion dollars would also go towards a program to reconnect communities separated by transportation infrastructure. For example, the White House notes that parts of the highway system were built through black neighborhoods.
- Airports, ports and waterways: The bill provides $ 17 billion for port infrastructure and $ 25 billion for airports.
- Water infrastructure: The plan calls for $ 50 billion to invest in weathering and protection from climate change-induced disasters such as droughts and floods.
- Clean water: The plan provides $ 55 billion in funding for clean drinking water, including replacing all lead pipes and utility lines in the country.
- High speed internet: The deal includes $ 65 billion in broadband Internet infrastructure spending.
- Environmental remediation: The plan provides $ 21 billion in environmental remediation, including cleaning up Superfund sites, reclaiming abandoned mine land, and covering abandoned oil and gas wells.
- Electricity infrastructure: The plan calls for $ 73 billion to convert the country from fossil fuels to clean energy. It invests in modernized energy infrastructure and research into technologies such as nuclear energy, carbon capture and clean hydrogen.