PHOENIX - It's been 10 days since the bipartisan infrastructure deal passed congress, sending it to the president's desk. On Nov. 15, President Joe Biden signed the deal in a show of bipartisanship.
At the signing ceremony, the president praised the bipartisan deal, calling it an investment in America's future.
It will fund $65 billion to bolster the nation's broadband as well as $7.5 billion to expand the nationwide network of plug-in electric vehicle chargers. The event included lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, as well as governors, mayors and business leaders.
"We hear you and we see you," Biden said. "We can deliver real results for real people."
What's the bill's impact on Arizona?
The bill would provide $110 billion to repair the nation’s aging highways, bridges and roads. According to the White House, 173,000 total miles or nearly 280,000 kilometers of America’s highways and major roads and 45,000 bridges are in poor condition. And the almost $40 billion for bridges is the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the national highway system, according to the Biden administration.
Millions of dollars will go to local projects in Arizona. From water to roads, broadband, and even fire prevention, just to name a few.
Organizations are already planning on what to do with the money.
Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema was one of the lead sponsors for the bill, saying, "Our plan will create billions in jobs and make our country stronger, safer and more globally competitive."
The money will be used for a wide range of items, like replacing bridges, repairing roads, and investing in high-speed internet. The money will also help enhance our security at the southern border and help prevent future wildfires.
"States like Arizona that are confronting historic drought will see billions of dollars to strengthen water systems throughout the American west. Communities will see historic investments to prevent and recover from wildfires," Sinema said.
Some organizations around the Phoenix area, like Valley Metro, are already making plans for when the funds roll out. It's hoping to add more electric buses, expand the light rail system and replace aging equipment.
"So these monies will enable us to do the things we were planning on doing but simply didn’t have the funds to do it," said Scott Smith, CEO of Valley Metro.
The plan also allocates critical money to tribal lands to improve drinking water, create roads, and expand broadband.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez was at the signing in Washington D.C.
"This is not going to take care of all the needs on the Navajo Nation, but it’s a start and we appreciate the Biden-Harris administration fulfilling their promise of having the Navajo Nation at the table during these discussions," Nez said.
It’s still unclear when the money will be sent out and exactly how much each organization will end up getting, but many say it’s a step in the right direction.
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