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Infrastructure bill would send billions to Georgia, South Carolina

Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 8:25 AM EDT
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WASHINGTON - Nearing decision time, senators were struggling to wrap up work on the bipartisan infrastructure plan despite hopes to expedite consideration and voting on the nearly $1 trillion proposal.

The package had appears on track for eventual Senate passage, although senators hit new problems late Thursday as they worked on amendments. A procedural vote is set for Saturday.

Called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the thick bill is a first part of Biden’s infrastructure agenda, and would inject billions of new spending on roads, bridges, waterworks, broadband and other projects to virtually every corner of the nation.

Here’s a look at how it would affect the two-state region:

Georgia

Based on formula funding, Georgia would expect to receive $8.9 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs over five years.

Georgia could also compete for the $12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program for economically significant bridges and nearly $16 billion of national funding in the bill dedicated for major projects that will deliver substantial economic benefits to communities.

In Georgia, there are 374 bridges and over 2,260 miles of highway in poor condition. Since 2011, commute times have increased by 10.8% in Georgia and on average, each driver pays $375 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair, according to the White House.

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave Georgia a C-minus on its infrastructure report card.

Based on formula funding, Georgia would expect to receive $1.4 billion over five years under to improve public transportation options across the state.

The White House said Georgians who take public transportation spend an extra 74.1% of their time commuting and non-white households are 3.9 times more likely to commute via public transportation. The White House says 7% of trains and other transit vehicles in the state are past useful life.

The bill would fund invest $7.5 billion to build out the first-ever national network of electric vehicle chargers. Of that funding, Georgia would expect to receive $135 million over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state.

Georgia would also have the opportunity to apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging.

Georgia would receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, including providing access to the at least 649,000 Georgians who currently lack it. Also, nearly 3.2 million or 31% of people in Georgia would be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access.

The White House says 15% of Georgia households do not have an internet subscription, and 6% of Georgians live in areas where, under the FCC’s benchmark, there is no broadband infrastructure.

South Carolina

South Carolina would receive approximately $4.6 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $274 million for bridge replacement and repairs over five years.

A fact sheet on South Carolina’s share of the funding released by the White House states there are 1,702 bridges and over 7,292 miles of highway in poor condition.

Since 2011, commute times have increased by 7.4% in South Carolina, and on average, each driver pays $625 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair, according to the report.

Also, $5 billion is set aside to improve the state’s public transportation. South Carolinians who take public transportation spend an extra 53% of their time commuting. The data states non-white households are 4.4 times more likely to rely on public transportation for their commute.

The report found 19% of public transit vehicles in the state are “past useful life.”

Also in the act is $100 million to develop internet connectivity and another $70 million for creating an electric vehicle charging network.

From reports by WRDW/WAGT, WCSC and The Associated Press