Tag Archives: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Biden Administration Infrastructure Law Funds Gateway Hudson Tunnel, Major Transportation Projects

President Biden announced $292 million to complete a critical early phase of the Gateway Hudson Tunnel Project, thanks to his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Hudson Tunnel Project will improve access to Penn Station, rehabilitate the old North River Tunnel which opened in 1910, build a new tunnel beneath the Palisades, Hudson River, and the waterfront area in Manhattan, and improve reliability for 200,000 weekday passengers on New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) and Amtrak. It will result in 72,000 well-paying jobs © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Continuing the progress implementing the Biden-Harris Administration’s economic agenda, President Biden visited New York on January 31 to announce funding for a critical early phase of the Hudson Tunnel Project and Mega grants for other major infrastructure projects across the country.  The President announced the Administration has awarded nearly $1.2 billion from the infrastructure law’s new National Infrastructure Project Assistance discretionary grant program (Mega) for nine projects across the country, including over $292 million to complete a critical early phase of the Hudson Tunnel Project.

These infrastructure investments will create good-paying jobs – including union jobs and jobs that do not require a college degree. The projects will grow the economy, strengthen supply chains, improve mobility for residents, and make our transportation systems safer for all users.

This announcement comes on the heels of several other announcements of funding for major infrastructure projects, including more than $2 billion to upgrade some our nation’s most economically significant bridges such as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Brent-Spence Bridge through the Bridge Investment Program and $1.5 billion for 26 major projects through the INFRA program.  

These infrastructure improvements are a critical part of President Biden’s economic agenda to build the economy from the bottom up and middle out.

Hudson Tunnel Project

President Biden announced a $292 million Mega grant to Amtrak for Hudson Yards Concrete Casing, Section 3. This funding is part of a $649 million early phase project that will complete the final section of concrete casing intended to preserve future right-of-way for the new passenger rail tunnel under the Hudson River. The concrete casing protects the path of the new tunnel from Penn Station to the Hudson River’s edge.  If this casing were not built now, the foundations from the new Hudson Yards development would likely impede the path of the tunnel and make the project extremely difficult.

The overall Hudson Tunnel Project is an over $16 billion investment that will improve resilience, reliability, and redundancy for New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) and Amtrak train service between New York and New Jersey.  The project will reduce commute times for NJ Transit riders, enhance Amtrak reliability on the Northeast Corridor (NEC), and support the northeast regional economy. Amtrak expects the Hudson Tunnel Project will result in 72,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction with union partnerships for job training. 

The existing North River Tunnel is over 100 years old, built to early 20th century standards, opened for service in 1910, and is the only passenger rail tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey. It facilitates more than 200,000 passenger trips per weekday on more than 450 Amtrak and NJ Transit trains servicing New York Penn Station. The tunnel has reached its full capacity of 24 trains per hour, causing bottlenecks and delays. The tunnel has two tubes with one track each.  When one goes out of service for any reason, trains have to wait to go through the working tube.  This creates headaches for NJ Transit commuters and Amtrak travelers and delays that cascade up and down the Northeast Corridor. In 2020, passengers experienced 12,653 minutes of delay due to problems caused by aging tunnel infrastructure. Delays occurred on 54 different days in 2020 and were attributed to a variety of causes involving the electrical power, signal and track systems.

In 2012, millions of gallons of salt water flooded into the tunnel during Superstorm Sandy. Even today, the remnants of seawater that entered the tunnel in 2012 continue to harm the concrete, steel, tracks and third rail, signaling, and electrical components within the tunnel. Today the tunnel requires regular, and occasional emergency, maintenance that disrupts service for hundreds of thousands of riders throughout the region.  Rehabilitation of the tunnel would require a full closure, which will only be possible if a second tunnel existed.

To address those challenges, the Hudson Tunnel Project will rehabilitate the old North River Tunnel; build a new tunnel beneath the Palisades, the Hudson River, and the waterfront area in Manhattan; construct new surface alignment from Secaucus to the new tunnel portal in North Bergen; construct ventilation shafts and fan plants in New Jersey and New York; and make track modifications near Penn Station. When the project is done, the redundant capacity provided by a second tunnel will mean fewer delays and less risk for catastrophic disruption.

The project is part of the larger Gateway Program which envisions expanding and rebuilding the rail line between Newark, New Jersey and New York City through a number of projects, including the new Portal North Bridge, which broke ground last year and is supported by $900 million in federal funding.

Today’s Mega grant announcement is the first of several funding announcements for the project expected this year and the most significant federal funding for the Gateway Hudson Tunnel Project to date. 

The Administration is committed to providing the billions of dollars in funding necessary to ensure that this critical project is completed. Later this year, if and when additional milestones are met by the states and other parties, a full funding agreement will be completed.

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak, with a $66 billion investment in rail. After waiting years for new federal funding, 2023 will be a year in which major rail projects along the 450-mile Northeast Corridor between Washington, DC, and Boston, receive their first significant funding.

New Mega Project Grants

The Mega grant program, created by the infrastructure law, funds projects that are too large or complex for traditional funding programs. Eligible projects include highway, bridge, freight, port, passenger rail, and public transportation projects that are a part of one of the other project types.   The Mega program will invest a total of $5 billion through 2026 to help rebuild the United States’ infrastructure for the benefit of residents now and for generations to come.

Beyond the Hudson Tunnel concrete casing project, the Administration is announcing projects of regional and national economic significance that are receiving Mega grant awards including:

  • $250 million for the Brent Spence Bridge connecting Kentucky and Ohio, part of a total investment of $1.6 Billion from the infrastructure law to build a new companion bridge and rehab an existing bridge along a major freight corridor on I-75. Earlier this month, the President and Senate Minority Leader McConnell visited the Brent Spence Bridge to announce this funding.
  • $150 million to the Louisiana Department of Transportation for the Calcasieu River Bridge Replacement which will increase capacity on a critical stretch of Interstate 10 which is an important freight route;
  • $117 million to the Metra Commuter Railroad in Illinois to make improvements on the Metra Union Pacific-North line on a two-mile corridor from the Addison to Fullerton rail bridges, replacing approximately 11 bridges, 4 miles of track structure, and more than 1.75 miles of retaining walls along Metra’s UP-N line;
  • $110 to the North Carolina Department of Transportation to replace the Alligator River Bridge on U.S. Highway 64 with a modern high-rise fixed span bridge along the primary east-west route in northeastern North Carolina between I-95 and the Outer Banks;
  • $85 million to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation for I-44 and US-75 improvements along a critical urban freight corridor near Tulsa, including vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements;
  • $78 million to the City of Philadelphia to make improvements along approximately 12.3 miles of Roosevelt Boulevard, from North Broad Street to the Bucks County line including making traffic signal upgrades, constructing intersection and roadway reconfigurations, constructing median barriers and pedestrian refuge islands, making corridor access management improvements, constructing complete streets improvements for accessibility, pedestrian, and bicycle improvements, as well as installing new business access and transit lanes;
  • $60 million to the Mississippi Department of Transportation to widen I-10 in Harrison and Hancock counties along a major freight corridor of regional significance; and,
  • $30 million to the California Department of Transportation (Santa Cruz County) for the Watsonville-Cruz Multimodal Corridor Program which will construct approximately 2.5 miles of State Route 1 auxiliary lanes and a Bus on Shoulder facility between Freedom Boulevard and State Park Drive, construct approximately 1.25 miles of the New Coastal Rail Trail within Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line right-of-way, and fund the purchase of 4 new zero-emission buses.

White House Highlights Infrastructure Progress in Every Corner of the Country: State-by-State Updates

During his State of the Union address, President Joe Biden touted the benefits of the once-in-a-generation Bipartisan Infrastructure Act that will fund tens of thousands of initiatives across the country – including places where Republicans opposed the measure but are happy to take credit for the progress (“I still get asked to fund the projects in those districts as well, but don’t worry.  I promised I’d be a President for all Americans.  We’ll fund these projects.  And I’ll see you at the groundbreaking.” Biden said that the materials would be “Made in America” and support millions of well-paying union jobs, like the manufacture of electric buses for public transit fleets, on display in New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Over one year ago, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness. While “infrastructure week” was a punchline under his predecessor, President Biden is delivering an “infrastructure decade” that is producing real results to change people’s lives for the better, creating good-paying jobs, and boosting American manufacturing.

In his first State of the Union Address in 2022, President Biden highlighted how our historic federal investments in infrastructure would create a visible impact in the lives of American families by committing to start repair on 65,000 miles of roads and 1,500 bridges. The President also committed to making rapid progress across every facet of the law. 

Since the last State of the Union, the Administration has surpassed those ambitious goals. This includes launching over 3,700 bridge repair and replacement projects across the country, beginning repair of over 69,000 miles of roadway, awarding funds for over 3,000 new clean transit and school buses, increasing enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program to over 16 million households, and approving state plans for water funding, EV charging networks and high-speed internet deployment.

Overall, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law represents historic progress, as the largest and most significant investment in:

  • Rebuilding our roads and bridges since President Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System;
     
  • Public transit in American history and an historic investment to make public transportation accessible;
     
  • Passenger rail since Amtrak’s inception, 50 years ago;
     
  • Clean water infrastructure;
     
  • Affordable, high-speed internet;
     
  • Tackling legacy pollution and advancing environmental justice;
     
  • Upgrading the power grid to transmit more clean energy and withstand extreme weather;
     
  • Increasing our infrastructure’s resilience against the impacts of climate change, extreme weather events, and cyber-attacks;
     
  • Replacing dirty diesel buses with clean, electric buses across school bus and transit fleets; and,
     
  • A national network of EV chargers in the United States and largest investment in domestic manufacturing of batteries and the critical minerals that power them.

These once-in-a-generation investments are positioning the United States to win the 21st century. That is why the Biden-Harris Administration has been laser-focused on implementing the law.

  • To date, the Administration has announced nearly $200 billion in funding and over 20,000 projects or awards, which are highlighted in a new map showcasing all projects and funding awards in all 50 states and territories. These awards and projects touch over 4,500 communities
     
  • In recent weeks, the President has announced awards for regionally or nationally-significant projects including over $2 billion to upgrade some our nation’s most economically significant bridges and over $1.2 billion in Mega grants. These infrastructure investments will create good-paying jobs – including union jobs and jobs that do not require a college degree. The projects will grow the economy, strengthen supply chains, improve mobility for residents, and make our transportation systems safer for all users.  To highlight that progress, the White House unveiled an illustrative map of signature projects on build.gov
     
  • The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to making the funding opportunities from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law both accessible and transparent, so communities across America know what to apply for, who to contact, and how to get ready to rebuild. Our goal is to help state, local, Tribal and territorial governments navigate, access, and deploy infrastructure resources that will build a better America. As such, the White House today released an updated calendar of notices of funding opportunity expected throughout the year. 

“Made in America”

Indeed, President Biden devoted the largest portion of his State of the Union address to infrastructure and jobs:

We used to be number one in the world in infrastructure.  We’ve sunk to 13th in the world.  The United States of America — 13th in the world in infrastructure, modern infrastructure.
 
But now we’re coming back because we came together and passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — the largest investment in infrastructure since President Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System.  (Applause.) 
 
Folks, already we’ve funded over 20,000 projects, including major airports from Boston to Atlanta to Portland — projects that are going to put thousands of people to work rebuilding our highways, our bridges, our railroads, our tunnels, ports, airports, clean water, high-speed Internet all across America — urban, rural, Tribal. 
 
And, folks, we’re just getting started.  We’re just getting started.  (Applause.) 

And I mean this sincerely: I want to thank my Republican friends who voted for the law.  And my Republican friends who voted against it as well — but I’m still — I still get asked to fund the projects in those districts as well, but don’t worry.  I promised I’d be a President for all Americans.  We’ll fund these projects.  And I’ll see you at the groundbreaking.  (Applause.)

Look, this law — this law will further unite all of America.
 
Projects like the Brent Spence Bridge in Kentucky over the Ohio River.  Built 60 years ago.  Badly in need of repairs.  One of the nation’s most congested freight routes, carrying $2 billion worth of freight every single day across the Ohio River.
 
And, folks, we’ve been talking about fixing it for decades, but we’re really finally going to get it done….And that’s what we’re also building — we’re building back pride.

Look, we’re also replacing poisonous lead pipes that go into 10 million homes in America, 400,000 schools and childcare centers so every child in America — every child in American can drink the water, instead of having permanent damage to their brain.  (Applause.)

Look, we’re making sure that every community in America has access to affordable, high-speed Internet… 
And when we do these projects — and, again, I get criticized about this, but I make no excuses for it — we’re going to buy American.  (Applause.) ..and it’s totally consistent with international trade rules.  Buy American has been the law since 1933.  But for too long, past administrations — Democrat and Republican — have fought to get around it.  Not anymore.
 
Tonight, I’m also announcing new standards to require all construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in America.  (Applause.)  Made in America.  I mean it.  (Applause.)  Lumber, glass, drywall, fiber-optic cable.  

And on my watch, American roads, bridges, and American highways are going to be made with American products as well.

Folks, my economic plan is about investing in places and people that have been forgotten.  So many of you listening tonight, I know you feel it.  So many of you felt like you’ve just simply been forgotten.  Amid the economic upheaval of the past four decades, too many people have been left behind and treated like they’re invisible.
 
Maybe that’s you, watching from home.  You remember the jobs that went away.  You remember them, don’t you?

The folks at home remember them.  You wonder whether the path even exists anymore for your children to get ahead without having to move away…That’s why we’re building an economy where no one is left behind.
 
Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back because of choices we made in the last several years.
 
You know, this is, in my view, a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America and make a real difference in your lives at home.  (Applause.)

Today, the White House Infrastructure Implementation Team also released new state-by-state fact sheets which outline the progress in all 50 states, DC and the territories as of January 13, 2023:

Alabama
Alaska
American Samoa
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Guam
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Northern Mariana Islands
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Tribal Fact Sheet
US Virgin Islands
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington  
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming