Marc Thomas, ABC15
After the signing of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, even more federal infrastructure dollars are now up for grabs.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Representative Greg Stanton announcing Friday an additional $2.9 billion in federal funds will be made available through a competitive bid process.
"This is going to allow communities like those in Arizona that have great transportation ideas and visions for the future, apply for a source of funding that's going to help them make those visions a reality," Buttigieg said in a zoom interview with ABC15.
Buttigieg says the money will be from three separate funding sources.
"One that is focused on rule opportunities, another is for major projects, that's project so big that they might not have fit into previous programs. And a program called INFA that has $1.6 billion this year that allows us to find projects in communities large and small," he said.
Buttigieg says this is in addition to the $5.3 billion earmarked for Arizona roads and bridges, and the $1 billion set aside for public transportation projects over the next five years.
"We have a whole new level of funding to support worthy projects of all kinds," he said. "Trains and transit, highways roads and bridges, airports ports and more," Buttigieg said.
"These dollars are open to a nationwide competitive process. We expect that we're going to get applications from every corner of the country including Arizona, for projects that are going to help make a difference in getting people where they need to be," he added.
Representative Stanton expects Arizona agencies to aggressively compete to fund several priority projects.
The projects include I-10 improvements, light rail expansion, and the much anticipated I-11 project connection Phoenix to Las Vegas.
"We need these resources to improve the quality of life for residents throughout the state of Arizona," Stanton said.
Stanton also expressed his commitment to tribal nations in desperate need of clean water and broadband.
"Infrastructure in the water space is critically important. That's one of the great things about this bipartisan infrastructure bill, there was a record number of resources for western water resources, specifically earmarked for the western part of the United States," Stanton said.
"It’ll be a competitive process to get that, but you better believe that Arizona is going to be getting more than our fair share," Stanton added.
Both Stanton and the Transportation Secretary said they will work hard to make sure funding will get out quickly once it's awarded.
"I'm going to push hard so as these resources get out, they don't languish, that we do get shovels in the ground and people working on these incredibly important projects as quickly as possible," Stanton said.
"We're putting all these processes together to make it's streamlined and simpler to navigate for communities with less red tape," Buttigieg said.
ADOT releasing a statement:
"ADOT has been expecting federal funding notices to be issued and is fully prepared to engage in this process. ADOT will compete for grants directed to state projects and will also work closely with other transportation agencies at the local and regional level to support their efforts to get more funds. "