Updated Nov 9, 2021 - News

What Biden's infrastructure bill means for Pennsylvania

Illustration of the state of PA, with scaffolding.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

President Joe Biden's $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill will pump billions into Pennsylvania.

Driving the news: The House passed the legislation Friday night, with most Democrats and 13 Republicans — including Pennsylvania's own Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick — in support.

  • The bill, hailed by Biden as a "once-in-a-generation investment," now goes to the president's desk.

Why it matters: Pennsylvania is slated to get $11.3 billion for highway projects and $1.6 billion for bridge replacement and repairs over five years.

  • The state's highways are rated among the worst in the nation for road and bridge deterioration, according to a report from TRIP, a national transportation nonprofit.

State of play: There are more than 3,350 bridges and 7,540 miles of highway described as in "poor condition" across the state, according to the White House.

  • Since 2011, commutes have increased by 7.6% in Pennsylvania, and drivers pay, on average, $620 per year because of roads in need of repair.

By the numbers: Over five years, Pennsylvania expects to receive roughly $2.8 billion for public transportation, and $1.4 billion to improve water infrastructure. Other allocations include:

  • $355 million for airport infrastructure improvements
  • $49 million for wildfire protections
  • $26 million for security against cyberattacks

Between the lines: Biden's plan also includes $1 billion for the Reconnecting Communities Initiative designed to rectify damage caused by highways predominantly built through communities of color.

What they're saying: Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) tweeted that the bill "is the single-largest investment in our nation's infrastructure in generations."

  • "America's infrastructure has reached a breaking point, and this is a challenge we can no longer ignore," Rep. Fitzpatrick said in a statement.

The other side: Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), who voted against the bill, said, "While American families face record-high inflation and businesses can't find workers, Democrats prioritize woke police that will only make things worse."

  • Meanwhile, Republican Rep. Glenn Thompson, who's also from Pennsylvania, said the legislation is "full of budget gimmicks and will cost American taxpayers trillions of dollars."

What's ahead: A spokesperson from the Philadelphia Mayor's Office told Axios the city expects to put the funding toward new infrastructure grant programs, but further details remain unclear at this time.

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to show that Vine Street Expressway splits the Chinatown neighborhood, not Roosevelt Expressway.


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