Washington state will receive $8.6 billion under the infrastructure bill that cleared Congress last week and that President Joe Biden has pledged to sign.
The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act won final approval Friday in the House of Representatives with the help of 13 Republicans voting in favor. Those votes were needed after six Democrats voted against the measure, saying it does not spend enough. It passed the Senate in August.
Neighboring Oregon will receive $1.2 billion.
The majority of the money – $4.7 billion – will go toward highway programs, with another $605 million slated for bridge replacement and repairs. A portion will be used to repair the West Seattle Bridge, which has been closed since March of 2020.
The Washington Department of Transportation says there are 143 bridges out of 7,300 across the state that are considered structurally deficient. The department indicates, however, that such a designation does not mean the bridge is in danger of collapsing or unsafe for travel.
The I-5 bridge over the Skagit River that collapsed in 2013, for example, was not considered structurally deficient at the time.
Some 5,400 highway miles throughout the state are in need of repair, according to WDOT.
The state will also get $1.8 billion for transportation, including $559 for King County Metro and $381 billion for Sound Transit.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is slated to receive $228 million for improvements.
Another $100 million will be used to expand broadband internet access. Estimates show about 241,000 people across the state lack access to it.
Some $71 million will be used to build more electric vehicle charging stations. The overall bill includes $7.5 billion to expand the EV charging network across the country.
Another $882 million will be used to improve drinking water infrastructure and safety.
“There is so much in this bill that is going to benefit the district, and I’m just so proud to have played such a central role in delivering it to the president’s desk for signing,” Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, whose district includes most of Seattle, told KIRO Radio. “This is the largest federal investment in public transit in American history. For those of us who are suffering under the curse of bridges that don’t work in Seattle, this bill is going to make the largest dedicated bridge investment since the mid-1900s.”
The infrastructure bill also repeals the Employee Retention Credit, making it something that Washington and other businesses will not be able to claim on wages paid after September, and strengthens the tax reporting requirement for cryptocurrency transactions.
This article was originally posted on Washington state to get $8.6B from infrastructure bill