When I left my job as mayor to run for Congress, one of the main reasons was because I was frustrated that the federal government wasn’t doing its part to help local communities build the infrastructure we need to build a stronger economy.
It’s why I wanted to serve on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
I’m grateful that Congress––finally––has passed a major investment in infrastructure that will create millions of good-paying jobs, boost innovation and competitiveness and strengthen Arizona’s economy.
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act includes several key investments I’ve long fought for—from highways to broadband to water and wastewater systems to public transit.
With this historic investment, here’s what Arizonans can expect:
- Building new roads and bridges––and finally fixing those that need it. In Arizona there are 132 bridges and more than 3,100 miles of highway in poor condition, which increases driving time and wear and tear on vehicles. Arizona will receive $5 billion for our roads and highways and $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs. The bill also includes my ROCKS Act to make infrastructure construction in Arizona more sustainable.
- Improving public transportation. Good public transit lifts everyone in our community, from local businesses to students to seniors. Arizona will receive $884 million over five years to improve public transportation options in communities across the state—including funds from my Small Communities Transit Act which helps places like Flagstaff serve their residents.
- Upgrading Arizona’s water infrastructure to prepare for long-term drought. Further action to safeguard our water supply has never been more critical. Arizona will receive $619 million over five years to improve water infrastructure across the state and ensure that clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities. The Army Corps of Engineers will also receive $150 million to fund the new Arizona Environmental Infrastructure Authority I successfully fought for last year. In total, $8.3 billion is marked for western water projects.
- Connecting all Arizonans to reliable, high-speed internet. In 2021, internet access is a necessity to get a quality education, apply for a job or access healthcare. Arizona will receive $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, including providing access to the at least 353,000 Arizonans who currently lack it. Additionally, nearly a quarter of Arizonans will become eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access.
- Preparing for climate change, wildfires and extreme heat. Arizona will receive $38 million over five years to protect against wildfires and will benefit from the $3.5 billion national investment in weatherization, reducing energy costs for families.
- Safeguarding against cyberattacks. Small, rural and tribal water systems are especially vulnerable to cyberattacks. Arizona will receive $17 million to keep communities and our infrastructure safe from this new and evolving threat.
- Boosting the electric vehicle infrastructure. Accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles is critical to address the climate crisis, and EVs support manufacturing and design jobs right here in the Valley. Arizona will receive $76 million over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state.
- Helping Arizona airports take flight. Our airports are economic engines, contributing millions of dollars to our regional economy each year. Airports in Arizona will receive $348 million for infrastructure development over five years.
- Expanding––and upgrading security––at ports of entry. Arizona’s economy depends on efficient cross-border trade and tourism. This bill invests $147 million for the San Luis Port of Entry, $216 million for the new Douglas Port of Entry, and $184 million for rehabilitation at the current Douglas Port of Entry, which will speed up exports and imports.
This is a big step forward.
Our economic future as a state depends on it, and I look forward to continuing our work to deliver for Arizonans.