What President Biden's infrastructure bill means for Central California

Elisa Navarro Image
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
What President Biden's infrastructure bill means for Central CA
Many projects will take place across the Central Valley over the next five years with these funds, including investments in public transportation and water systems.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- President Joe Biden signed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package Monday morning, helping fulfill part of his economic agenda.

Millions of dollars will be used in Central California for significant infrastructure, broadband, and water projects.

Congressman Jim Costa attended the signing ceremony at the White House.

"As a result of the passage of this historic piece of legislation, next year, America, for the first time in years, will lead the world in investments in the future of infrastructure and that is good news," he said.

Costa says the Valley will directly feel the impact of funding for more water storage - and improved water access in rural areas.

"We are going to make a difference now," he said. "$55 billion for clean drinking water for communities that deserve and need it that don't meet state or federal standards."

RELATED: Pres. Biden signs infrastructure bill into law

Jessi Snyder with Self Help Enterprises works on water projects daily and sees the need first hand.

"From replacing pipeline, including those lead service lines that are so problematic, to building storage facilities," she said.

Several transportation projects are also set to receive funding, including more than $25 billion for California highways such as the 99, $4.2 billion for bridge replacement and repairs and $1.5 billion to improve airports in the Golden State.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of internet access, which is also a part of the bill.

The Central Valley Higher Education Consortium has pushed for broadband equity across the Central Valley for over a year. Now, the group is a step closer to its goal of helping students.

"It's no longer something people should or shouldn't have," says Ben Duran. "It's like the telephone, it's like electricity, like water, like roads and highways. That's how we see broadband."

Thirty-two Republicans in the House and Senate supported the bill, but others argue the price tag is far too high, including Congressman David Valadao.

He released a statement saying in part, "Inflation is record-high, consumer prices are rising and our economy is still recovering from a global pandemic. The last thing middle-class families need is to carry the burden of paying for this magnitude of reckless spending for years to come."

For more information on how Central California will benefit from the bill, click here.