by Bruce Walker
Michigan could be on the receiving end of $7.8 billion in federal dollars if the U.S. Senate’s $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill becomes law.
The estimated total is derived from $7.3 billion for Michigan highways and an additional $563 million to fix an estimated 1,200 bridges currently deemed in disrepair.
The monies earmarked from the bill would be in addition to the $3.5 billion in bonds issued by the Michigan Department of Transportation to fix the state’s roads and bridges, which is in addition to the $1.8 billion increase in the state’s transportation spending since 2012.
President Joe Biden has already pledged his support for House Resolution 3684, which is a bipartisan effort conducted by a group of senators.
Text of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was released Sunday evening. The bill is currently being debated in the Senate prior to the legislative body adjourning for a month-long recess beginning Monday. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has indicated he may delay the break until the legislation is passed.
Michigan may receive up to $100 million out of a total $7.5 billion nationwide to expand its network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations over the next five years. The EV charging expansion aligns with the president’s order to convert at least 50% of the nation’s automotive fleet to electric vehicles by 2030.
The bill also aims to bridge the state’s digital divide by pumping $100 million into increasing broadband access. According to the Federal Communications Commission, 4% of Michigan residents, or roughly 400,000 of the state’s population of 10 million people, do not have internet access.
According to the White House, the bill:
- Makes the largest federal investment in public transit ever
- Makes the largest federal investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak
- Makes the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system
- Makes the largest investment in clean drinking water and waste water infrastructure in American history, delivering clean water to millions of families
- Ensures every American has access to reliable high-speed internet
- Helps tackle the climate crisis by making the largest investment in clean energy transmission and EV infrastructure in history; electrifying thousands of school and transit buses across the country; and creating a new Grid Deployment Authority to build a resilient, clean, 21st century electric grid
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Bruce Walker is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as editor at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s MichiganScience magazine and The Heartland Institute’s InfoTech & Telecom News.