Nov 16, 2021 - Politics

Tennessee's huge infrastructure haul

President Joe Biden signs $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.

President Biden signs $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Tennessee is poised to receive billions of dollars in federal funding through the bipartisan infrastructure bill President Biden signed yesterday.

  • U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, tells Axios the bill represents the biggest surge in funding for infrastructure "in at least 60 years."

Why it matters: The surge of money will touch several aspects of life in Tennessee, funding roadwork, bridge repairs, and broadband expansion, among other things.

  • A Tennessee Department of Transportation analysis shared with Axios found the legislation would "no doubt help" the state chip away at its waiting list of projects.

By the numbers: The White House compiled a report projecting what Tennessee would receive from the $1.2 trillion bill.

🚧 $5.8 billion for highway construction projects.

🚰 $697 million to improve water infrastructure, including removing lead pipes that carry drinking water.

🚌 $630 million for public transportation improvements.

🌉 $302 million to replace and repair bridges.

✈️ $300 million to Tennessee airports.

💻 At least $100 million to improve access to broadband.

What they're saying: Cooper, facing redistricting that could push him out of Congress, framed the legislation as a victory of historic proportions.

  • "We have 881 bridges in Tennessee that need real repairs. We have 270 miles of highway that are really hurting. We have 400,000 Tennesseans who have no Internet," he said, citing White House statistics. "This is a terrible situation for a growing state."
  • Cooper pointed out that he and Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, were the only members of the state delegation to support the measure. The state's nine other federal lawmakers, all Republicans, voted against the initiative.

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