Senator Alex Padilla discusses infrastructure bill's impact on Central California

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- $30 billion is coming to California from a bipartisan bill that Democrats pushed through Congress last month.

Most of the funding will go toward improving highways and roads, which engineers rank among the worst in the country.

"The President signed into law the Infrastructure and Jobs Act, which means historic investment in all aspects of infrastructure," says Senator Alex Padilla.

Senator Padilla says the money will help fund improvement projects along Highway 99 as well as the 41.

The Democrat is calling it an important piece of legislation that includes priorities to modernize the state's utilities, improve internet connectivity in rural areas, and revamp water infrastructure.

"Funding is certainly there to modernize a lot of the canals that are aging and leaking, and the last thing we need during a drought is to lose a lot of water, precious water to leaks," he said.

The infrastructure investment will look to clean up contaminated drinking water by replacing old pipes with lead-free pipes.

Millions of dollars will also be available to strengthen the state's electrical grid to help prevent devastating wildfires like those California has experienced in recent years.

"As we modernize and make the electrical grid more efficient, we can be more efficient with our electricity, reduce emissions and protect the environment in the process," Padilla said.

Critics of the infrastructure plan have criticized the cost that comes with it, saying it could be the most expensive piece of legislation in American history.

None of California's 11 Republican representatives voted for the bill.
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