The following is an general outline of the White House’s plan to improve the infrastructure in Georgia. The time for action on several of these is critical and I am curious to see how soon detailed plans are released.
Rural broadband is an issue that is continually spoken about in Georgia but still lacks a concrete plan of how a radical change is going to be implemented. I am glad that it is included and maybe, just maybe, something will actually be done.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework Will Deliver For Georgia
President Biden and Vice President Harris recently announced their support for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, the largest long-term investment in our infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century.
The need for action in Georgia is clear. For decades, infrastructure in Georgia has suffered from a systemic lack of investment. In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Georgia a C- grade on its infrastructure report card.
The historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework will make life better for millions of Georgia residents, create a generation of good-paying union jobs and economic growth, and position the United States to win the 21st century. Specifically, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework will:
- Repair and rebuild our roads and bridges with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity, and safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians. In Georgia there are 374 bridges and over 2,260 miles of highway in poor condition. Since 2011, commute times have increased by 10.8% in Georgia and on average, each driver pays $375 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework will devote more than $312 billion to transform our nation’s transportation infrastructure and make it more resilient, including $110 billion for roads, bridges, and major projects. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework is the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system.
- Improve healthy, sustainable transportation options for millions of Americans. Georgians who take public transportation spend an extra 74.1% of their time commuting and non-White households are 3.9 times more likely to commute via public transportation. 7% of trains and other transit vehicles in the state are past useful life. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework will modernize public transit with a $48.5 billion investment and invest $66 billion in passenger and freight rail. The Framework is the largest federal investment in public transit in history and is the largest federal investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak.
- Prepare more of our infrastructure for the impacts of climate change, cyber attacks, and extreme weather events. From 2010 to 2020, Georgia has experienced 46 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $20 billion in damages. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework includes $47 billion to improve the resiliency of our infrastructure and support communities’ recovery from disaster. The Framework is the largest investment in the resilience of physical and natural systems in American history.
- Deliver clean drinking water to up to ten million American families and more than 400,000 schools and child care facilities that currently don’t have it. Over the next 20 years, Georgia’s drinking water infrastructure will require $12.5 billion in additional funding. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework includes a $55 billion investment to ensure clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities. The Framework would completely eliminate the nation’s lead service lines and pipes and represents the largest investment in clean drinking water and waste water infrastructure in American history.
- Connect every American to reliable high-speed internet. 10% of Georgians live in areas where, by one definition, there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds. And 38.8% of Georgians live in areas where there is only one such internet provider. Even where infrastructure is available, broadband may be too expensive to be within reach. 15% of Georgia households do not have an internet subscription. Just as the federal government made a historic effort to provide electricity to every American nearly one hundred years ago, the Framework will invest $65 billion to bring universal, reliable, high- speed, and affordable coverage to every family in America.
- Upgrade our power infrastructure. In Georgia, an average low-income family spends 10-12% of their income on home energy costs forcing tough choices between paying energy bills and buying food, medicine or other essentials. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework will represent the single largest investment in clean energy transmission in American history, building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy, including through a new Grid Authority.
The $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework is a critical step in implementing President Biden’s Build Back Better vision. Still, there is more work to do – to grow our economy, create jobs, improve living standards, reduce climate pollution, and ensure more Americans can participate fully and equally in our economy. President Biden remains committed to the comprehensive agenda laid out in the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. He will work with Congress to build on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework in legislation that moves in tandem, laying the foundation for a robust and equitable recovery for all Americans.
Note: estimates for deficient infrastructure in this state are accurate as of April 2021.