Jeff Silvestrini: Federal infrastructure investments will build a stronger Utah economy

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Sen. Mitt Romney, right, joins Utah water managers and state leaders following a tour of a Central Utah Water Completion Act (CUPCA) construction site in South Utah County on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. The recent infrastructure bill directs $50 million toward this project, which moves water from the Colorado River Basin to Wasatch Front cities.

Salt Lake City, Millcreek and communities throughout the Salt Lake Valley are poised for exponential growth in the coming years and decades. Ensuring our core, essential infrastructure is strong enough to support that growth is one of the biggest challenges Utah faces. That is why passage of last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law in Washington could not have come at a better time.

Beyond representing a historic investment in our nation’s basic infrastructure, the effort to pass this bill was notable for the truly bipartisan effort that went into crafting it. As mayor of Millcreek, I appreciate Sen. Mitt Romney’s commitment to working across the aisle to find bipartisan compromise on a critically important issue that impacts all Utahans and Americans, regardless of political affiliation.

It might not have been a perfect bill — and it certainly didn’t please everyone on both sides — but the recently passed infrastructure deal will help upgrade, improve and modernize our entire infrastructure to support the growth we are expecting in the future, create and support good-paying jobs for Utahans and all Americans, and increase our economic competitiveness in an increasingly global market.

The new law includes long-overdue investments in our transportation, broadband, water and energy infrastructure — including much-needed renewable energy investments — that will improve quality of life in the Salt Lake Valley, throughout the state and across the country. Among other critical priorities, these investments will help support the continued expansion and improvement of our roads, bridges and highways to support future growth — something that has been a priority of mine since taking office.

Moreover, the $100 million investment in expanding broadband internet that our state will receive thanks to the new infrastructure law will help us continue to bridge the digital divide and ensure all Utah communities, rural and urban, have access to high-speed connections that help open new economic and educational opportunities.

In addition to serving as mayor of Millcreek, I’m also proud to serve as chair of the Wasatch Front Regional Council — a transportation planning organization serving most of the Utah’s population. It is in both capacities that I am proud to support this bill as it will enable Utah to address its infrastructure and transportation needs to create jobs, strengthen Utah businesses, and grow our economy and ensure we are well positioned to accommodate our booming population.

Mayor Jeff Silvestrini

Jeff Silvestrini is currently serving his second term as mayor of the city of Millcreek.