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Senate Passes Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

Albert E. Dotson, Jr.
Blog ImageToday, the Senate passed the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. We have previously written on the impact that previous drafts of the bill, which is now entitled the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, would have on South Florida. Generally, it provides $110 billion in funding towards roads and bridges, $66 billion in passenger and freight rail, $65 billion in upgrades to the electric grid, $65 billion in expanded internet access, $55 billion in water infrastructure, and $39 billion in modernization of transit systems.

In South Florida, the impact could be significant, first, with respect to the investment in transportation infrastructure. For example, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (serving Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach) and Miami-Dade County are focused on modernization of transit systems through construction of transit-oriented developments. Miami-Dade County also continues to make progress on developing the various arms of its SMART Plan, with the Beach Corridor, North Corridor, and South Corridor each in different phases of development. The investment from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act aims to make stations accessible to the entire community and bring service to new communities. Of course, funding could be used to improve and expand the Brightline, the intercity passenger rail that is poised to run through South and Central Florida.

Second, the investment in climate friendly technologies is also crucial to improving resiliency in South Florida. The plan invests over $50 billion in infrastructure improvements to weatherize infrastructure and protect against severe droughts and floods. The plan allocates $17 billion to improvements in port and airport infrastructure to reduce emissions and promote electrification. Additionally, the plan allocates $7.5 billion to build a national network of electric vehicle chargers, and over $6 billion in zero or low emission buses that will be delivered to school districts nationwide.

The bill still needs to be passed by the House of Representatives, and it is unclear, if the bill is passed, how much of this new investment will be directed to South Florida.
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