Nov 15, 2021 - News

What Georgia gets from the infrastructure bill

Illustration of the state of Georgia behind scaffolding.

Illustration: Axios Visuals

Billions of dollars are projected to head Georgia’s way over the next five years after President Joe Biden signs a roughly $1.2 trillion infrastructure funding package into law today.

Why it matters: Georgia is a vital logistics hub for the country — the world’s second-busiest airport, one of the country’s largest shipping container ports, a key junction of major U.S. interstates and rail lines — and who hates infrastructure?

The vote: In the House, Georgia Democrats split with their Republican colleagues. Georgia’s two senators, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, both Democrats, voted in favor.

Planes: The funding package includes more than $619 million for airports throughout the state, the White House says.

  • The Georgia Department of Transportation says the state's airports would need even more funding to maintain and upgrade their facilities, the AJC reports.

Trains (and buses): Nearly 70% of the $1.4 billion in public transit aid would be earmarked for public transit agencies in metro Atlanta like MARTA, GRTA, and other services, according to Ossoff's office.

  • Congress OK'd $66 billion to expand Amtrak’s busy Northeast Corridor and serve new areas. One map of Amtrak’s future proposed system includes new service from Atlanta to Nashville, Montgomery and Savannah.

And automobiles: Georgia’s roads will feel the love. The state will receive nearly $9 billion to fix roads and highways, plus $225 million to upgrade and replace deficient bridges.

  • In 2019, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Georgia’s roads a C+ on its infrastructure report card, arguing that GDOT lacks the funding to adequately maintain its roadways.

Georgia will likely see $135 million to help build an electric-vehicle charging network throughout the state (along with an unspecified amount to update the state’s electric grid), and billions to swap out older and gas-powered buses for low- or zero-emissions vehicles.

Lightning round: Expect a minimum of $100 million to expand broadband in rural Georgia (plus funding for programs to help people living on low incomes get online), $913 million for drinking-water projects and other public buildings and $22 million to prevent wildfires.

  • In addition to the state-specific funding, Georgia will have access to programs to weatherize homes, address flooding on coastal areas and bridge funding for major transportation projects that would have a high return on investment.

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