What the infrastructure bill means for West Virginia

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — The Senate approved the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan Tuesday afternoon. The legislation passed 69-30 and now heads to the House of Representatives for passage.

U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) voted in favor of the bipartisan infrastructure, ensuring the bill will bring at least $3.8 billion to West Virginia for infrastructure investments over the next five years. 

The infrastructure bill will help West Virginia by funding several projects including:

  • Broadband: 
    • West Virginia will receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, including providing access to the at least 258,000 West Virginians who currently lack it.
    • Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, 543,000 or 31% of people in West Virginia will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access
  • Roads and Bridges: 
    • Based on formula funding alone, West Virginia would expect to receive $3 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $506 million for bridge replacement and repairs over five years.
    • West Virginia can also compete for the $12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program for economically significant bridges.
    • Nearly $16 billion of national funding in the bill dedicated for major projects that will deliver substantial economic benefits to communities.
  • Public Transportation: 
    • Based on formula funding alone, West Virginia would expect to receive $196 million over five years under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to improve public transportation options across the state.
Joe Manchin
FILE – In this June 23, 2021, file photo Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, talks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington. Top congressional Democrats are hunting for the sweet spot that would satisfy the party’s rival moderate and progressive wings, a crucial moment as they craft legislation financing President Joe Biden’s multi-trillion dollar agenda of bolstering the economy and helping families. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

“West Virginia has 1,545 bridges and over 3,200 miles of highway in poor condition and 32 percent of trains and other transit vehicles in the state are past useful life. At least 258,000 West Virginians have no broadband access.”  

“Our bipartisan bill will help West Virginia, and every other state in the nation, address the infrastructure needs of our nation while creating good-paying jobs and growing the economy. This type of investment hasn’t been made in three decades. And today, the Senate passed our bipartisan legislation to help America compete in the 21st century. This success proves to the nation, and the entire world, that Congress is not broken and when we create compromise together, by reaching across the aisle and forging true relationships, we can accomplish big things. I have always said that the best politics is good government, and I’m incredibly proud of my bipartisan colleagues for their tireless efforts to get this across the finish line and deliver on this major investment in the needs of America.”

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Senator Shelley Moore Capito

“After months of negotiating and a long amendment process where both parties were able to have their voices heard, the Senate voted in a bipartisan way to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This legislation reflects our commitment to keeping Americans safe, improving our global competitiveness, and growing our economy. It also includes transformative wins for West Virginia and our entire nation.

“I’m incredibly proud that the foundation of this legislation is based off of two bipartisan bills crafted by our EPW Committee—the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act and the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act. This process also was built upon discussions and negotiations I had with the White House over several weeks to define our infrastructure needs. The inclusion of our bills in the package means West Virginia will receive funding for programs and areas I have long supported, like roads, bridges, water and wastewater projects, construction of the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS), and more. As a member of the Commerce Committee, I am also glad to see that this package makes major broadband investments that will help tremendously with closing the digital divide in our country, something that has been a top priority for me since day one.

“The American people elected us to do tough work, and tough compromises are necessary to develop and pass bipartisan legislation like we did today. The core infrastructure investments that will result from this legislation are all investments not just for now, but also for the next generation. I’m glad that both sides were able to work together to make this legislation a reality and push it across the finish line in the Senate. I urge my friends in the House to move swiftly so we can send it to the president’s desk and deliver results for the American people.”

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

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