(The Center Square) – Texas is expected to receive an estimated $35.44 billion over five years from the federal infrastructure bill that recently passed the Democratic-controlled Congress.
The $1.2 trillion measure, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, passed late Friday and President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill into law.
The White House says funding will significantly improve Texas’ infrastructure, which according to the American Society of Civil Engineers is below average. Texas recently received a C- grade on its latest infrastructure report card.
Each state will receive infrastructure funding through an allotment formula and be able to apply for grants for additional money.
Based on formula funding alone, Texas would expect to receive $26.9 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $537 million for bridge replacement and repairs over five years, the White House says. The goal would be to repair and rebuild roads and bridges with a “focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity, and safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians.”
Texas can also compete for the $12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program for economically significant bridges.
In the second-largest state by geographical size, Texans primarily rely on cars for transportation. Unlike smaller states, or states on the East Coast, Texas does not have a statewide passenger rail system, commuter rail or extensive public transportation system.
Texans who take public transportation primarily do so in cities where they spend an extra 80.8% of their time commuting, the White House says. Likewise, 12% of trains and other transit vehicles in the state are past useful life.
Based on formula funding alone, Texas would expect to receive $3.3 billion over five years to improve public transportation through various projects.
And in the largest oil producing state in the U.S., the Biden administration isn’t investing in oil and gas infrastructure in the bill, but in in electric cars.
The bill invests $7.5 billion to build out the first-ever national network of EV chargers in the United States, including allocating $408 million to Texas over five years to expand the national EV charging network in Texas. Texas will also have the opportunity to apply for $2.5 billion in grant funding to build EV charging stations.
Texas is also expected to receive $2.9 billion over five years to improve water infrastructure across the state, including removing lead pipes. Airports are slated to receive $1.2 billion.
Another $53 million over five years will go toward wildfire prevention and $42 million to protect against cyberattacks.
Texas will also receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, including providing access to at least 1,058,000 Texans who currently lack it.
Under the bill, 8,381,000, or 29%, of Texas residents will also be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access. Roughly 14% of Texas households don’t have an internet subscription, and 4% of Texans live in areas where, under the FCC’s benchmark, there is no broadband infrastructure.