road work
road work

The U.S. House cleared a $1.2 trillion physical infrastructure bill  on Friday evening and the bill is on its way to Pres. Joe Biden for his signature. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will Deliver for Kansas from the largest long-term investment in our country’s  infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century.

The need for action in Kansas is clear and recently released state-level data with the state suffering for decades from a systemic lack of investment in its infrastructure.  In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Kansas a C grade on its infrastructure report card.

All Kansas House Republicans followed their colleagues in the Senate, Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall, and voted against the historic infrastructure bill.

Specifically, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will:

Repair and rebuild our roads and bridges

Funding from the bill will focus on repairing and rebuilding roads and bridges with a focus on climate change mitigation, rand safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians.

In Kansas there are 1,321 bridges and over 1,995 miles of highway in poor condition.

Since 2011, commute times have increased by 6.6% in Kansas.

On average, each Kansas driver pays $509 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair.

Based on formula funding alone, Kansas would expect to receive over five years:

$2.6 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and

$225 million for bridge replacement and repairs

Kansas can also compete for the

$12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program for economically significant bridges and

$16 billion of national funding in the bill dedicated for major projects that will deliver substantial economic benefits to communities. 

Improve public transportation

Kansans who take public transportation spend an extra 65.7% of their time commuting .

Non-White households are 3 times more likely to commute via public transportation.

12% of trains and other transit vehicles in the state are past useful life.

Based on formula funding alone, Kansas would expect to receive over the next five years:

$272 million  to improve public transportation options across the state.

Build a network of Electronic Vehicle (EV)  chargers

The U.S. market share of plug-in EV sales is only one-third the size of the Chinese EV market. The President believes that must change.

Under the bills allotment to invest $7.5 billion to build out the first-ever national network of EV chargers in the United States Kansas would expect to receive:

$40 million over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state

Kansas will also have the opportunity to apply for:

$2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging in the bill.

High-speed internet connection

Broadband internet is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school learning, health care, and to stay connected.

15% of Kansas households do not have an internet subscription.

2% of Kansans live in areas where, under the FCC’s benchmark, there is no broadband infrastructure.

Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:

$100 million is the minimum allocation Kansas will receive to help provide broadband coverage across the state.  Including providing

71,000 Kansans access to internet who currently lack it.

669,000 or 24% of people in Kansas will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access.

Climate change, cyber security and extreme weather events

From 2010 to 2020, Kansas has experienced 42 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $20 billion in damages.

Kansas will expect to receive:

$25 million over five years to protect against wildfires.

$14 million to protect against cyberattacks.

Kansans will also benefit from the bill’s historic:

$3.5 billion national investment in weatherization which will reduce energy costs for families.

Clean Drinking Water

Under the bill, this funding will be used to deliver clean drinking water to every American and eliminate the nation’s lead service lines and pipes.

Kansas will expect to receive:

$454 million over five under this portion of the bill.

Improve our nation’s airports.

The United States built modern aviation, but our airports lag far behind our competitors.

Under the Infrastructure Act, Kansas would receive:

$109 million for infrastructure development for airports over five years.

Over the coming days and weeks, we will expect to receive additional information about the funding Kansas can expect to receive from the Infrastructure Bill.  In addition, the values quoted in this article are estimates and may change based on updated factor data each fiscal year.

Since 1996, Bonita has served as as Editor-in-Chief of The Community Voice newspaper. As the owner, she has guided the Wichita-based publication’s growth in reach across the state of Kansas and into...

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