California creates 17,000 infrastructure jobs with the support of the Biden administration

SACRAMENTO—A year ago, landmark federal legislation ushered in a new era of infrastructure investment, sending billions of dollars to California and putting thousands to work on transformative upgrades to improve the sustainability and resilience of the state’s energy, water, broadband, and transportation systems.

“We’re rebuilding California and creating thousands of good-paying jobs in the process. This goes beyond roads and bridges—it’s about investing in our communities and families, giving opportunity to hard-working Californians and ensuring we stay ahead of the curve,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom.

President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act—also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act—on November 15, 2021, sending California more than $16.3 billion in federal infrastructure funding. This includes $14 billion to upgrade the state’s roads, bridges, railroads, public transportation, airports, electric vehicle charging network, ports and waterways.

The influx of federal funding comes on top of an unprecedented $47 billion infrastructure package in the California state budget to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles, boost energy innovation and reliability, improve access to broadband connectivity, reduce wildfire risk to communities, and support drought resilience and response. . These record levels of state and federal funding investment have already created more than 17,000 jobs.

The state budget package includes $15 billion for transportation improvements that leverage federal funds through record state investments in transit and intercity rail projects, safe walking and cycling options, and upgrades to the supply chain that boost the state’s economy.

“This represents California’s greatest opportunity to accelerate our transition to a cleaner, safer, more connected, and more equitable transportation system,” said Tox Omechaken, California State Agency of Transportation Secretary. “Thanks to Governor Gavin Newsom, President Biden, and state and congressional legislature delegations, we are in an unparalleled position to maximize these historic state and federal infrastructure investments to improve mobility options for every Californian.”

Based on the secured financing of the formula alone, California expects to receive approximately $42 billion for transportation infrastructure over the five years of the federal infrastructure law — with the opportunity for billions more through competitive grants. Last year, California received $1.27 billion in federal grants for 219 transportation-related projects that directly benefited 46 counties and seven tribes. Among the notable grant awards:

  • $150 million for the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project on the San Diego-Tijuana border.
  • $104.1 million to the Los Angeles County Transportation Authority (LAC Metro) to purchase up to 160 new battery-electric buses and charging equipment.
  • $36.6 million for the Port of Oakland to build a 25-acre off-dock container support facility with battery storage and charging stations.
  • $25 million to the California High Speed ​​Rail Authority to advance the project beyond the 119 miles under construction all the way to downtown Merced.
  • $20 million for the Port of Los Angeles to construct a separation of rail and road grades that will eliminate a significant barrier to truck access for a critical container terminal support facility located on Terminal Island, in the middle of the Port of Los Angeles-Long Beach complex.

In addition, the Hoba Valley Tribal Council and York Telecom received a total of $126.8 million for high-speed Internet infrastructure deployment projects through the Infrastructure Act’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program.

More federal grant funding will become available in the coming months, including the first awards for the Reconnecting Communities pilot program, which will provide $1 billion over five years to neighborhoods previously cut off from economic opportunity by transportation infrastructure. In a sign of the unique alignment of federal state policy and investment priorities, California’s transportation infrastructure package includes $150 million for a route parallel to freeways to Boulevards to augment the federal program.

To provide Californians with the latest news and information about state and federal infrastructure investments, Caltrans expanded RebuildingCA.ca.gov — the website that tracks progress on Senate Bill #1, the Road Reform and Accountability Act of 2017 — to contain data on the federal government’s increased funding . Visitors to the site can learn more about different federal infrastructure programs, track how much funding California receives and find projects on an updated interactive map.

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