Two years ago today, President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, more commonly known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), into law.
The legislation allocated $1.2 trillion in funding over the next decade, including $550 billion in new spending. This funding went toward infrastructure — like rebuilding the United States’ roads, public transit, airports, bridges and rail — as well as internet access, clean water, electric grid renewal and other projects aimed at confronting the climate crisis.
As of Oct. 31, 2023, the White House has announced $3.2 billion in BIL funding for Utah for more than 200 projects. This money includes $2.1 billion for transportation, $577 million for water projects and $317 million for high-speed internet access.
Utah Sen. Mitt Romney negotiated the Senate’s version of the legislation with a bipartisan group of lawmakers back in 2021.
“This is legislation which represents a historic investment that delivers for Utah — without raising taxes and adding to the national debt,” Romney said in a statement at the time.
Romney promised $3 billion for Utah’s roads and highways back in 2021, almost a billion dollars more than what the state has secured to date.
The Republican senator also said the BIL would authorize $219 million for Utah’s water revolving funds over five years. To date, Utah’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund has received $21.5 million.
So far, Utah’s $3.2 billion in BIL funding trails behind many of its neighbors.
Take a look at what BIL funding has accomplished in Utah so far, from sprawling statewide projects to impactful local initiatives.
Utah secured $1.7 billion for improving its roads and bridges, the largest amount of BIL funding for any sector in the state,
The state has also received $253 million for public transit improvements.
From 2021 to 2026, approximately $665 million total of BIL funding will be allocated to improving public transportation across Utah, where the White House reports that 21% of the state’s transit vehicles are outdated.
$101 million in funding for Utah’s airports, including $29 million for the Salt Lake City International Airport, which helped fund the construction of 16 new gates and the updating of old facilities
$60 million for the Utah Transit Authority to purchase 20 new light rail vehicles to replace older, outdated vehicles, which will improve safety and accessibility
$25 million for the State Route 224 Battery Electric Bus and Bus Rapid Transit Project, which will add bus lanes exclusively for transit vehicles between Kimball Junction and Park City, from the Department of Transportation
$20.8 million for updating and constructing electric vehicle chargers across Utah
$17 million for the Utah Transit Authority to purchase natural gas-powered buses on routes that serve disadvantaged communities from the Department of Transportation
The same analysis shows that Utah’s national parks have been awarded $4.2 million in BIL funding to date.
$3.6 million for projects in Zion National Park, like the Virgin River Fish Passage Initiative, which works to restore the upper watershed of the Virgin River for fish migration
$1.3 million for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and the Bureau of Land Management’s Moab Field Office to plug orphaned oil and gas wells
$495,000 for the Canyonlands National Park Orphaned Wells Project
$110,000 for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
The White House has touted the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law as providing the largest investment in remediating legacy pollution, like unplugged and orphaned wells, in the country’s history.
Utah has received $31.8 million for cleaning up this kind of pollution.
$11 million total for plugging abandoned oil and gas wells
The federal government has announced $577 million in BIL funding for making Utah’s water safer and cleaner, as well as for improving the state’s water infrastructure.
$133 million from the Environmental Protection Agency, including $21.5 million for updating water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, $57 million for lead pipe and service line replacement and $39 million for investing in drinking water improvements
Approximately $200,000 for investments in Utah’s ports and waterways
Utah has been awarded $51.9 million in BIL funding for energy projects so far.
$63 million for strengthening the power grid to reduce power outages
$21.7 million for weatherization, which is the process of protecting buildings from weather conditions, thereby improving energy efficiency
$6.1 million for reducing fossil fuel emissions and improving energy efficiency through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program
$5 million for projects that improve energy efficiency, energy conservation and renewable energy across the state through the State Energy Program, run by the Utah Geological Survey and the U.S. Department of Energy
This funding will go toward increasing internet access across the state. The White House reports that more than 41,500 homes and businesses in Utah do not have access to reliable, high-speed internet.
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