What Does the New Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Mean for Utah?

Cameron Clark, Pawprint Staff Reporter

On Monday, November 15, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the new Infrastructure Bill into law, a bill that will help improve America’s roads, railways, water systems, and internet accessibility. This Bill was something Congress had been working on for almost over a year now, but conservatives and some members of the democratic party continued to fight for it to cost less money. As a result, what started at $2.25 trillion, got brought down to $1.2 trillion before it could pass. Now that it is passed, here is what that means for Utah.

In a statement on his website, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) said the following. “Today’s passage is a win for Utah, as we will now be better positioned to meet transportation challenges, mitigate drought conditions, prepare for and respond to wildfires, extend broadband to rural communities, and fulfill critical water needs.”

While driving around Utah, people have noticed that the state needs a little boost. From cracks in the road to bridges that aren’t up to code, Utah is getting some help from the federal government. Utah will be getting $3 billion to help with roads and highways.

“Utah has 2,064 miles of roads in poor condition,” Romney noted. “Commute times are up 7.2% in the state since 2011 and bad roads cost drivers an average of $709 per year in repair.”

There are many other places where the federal government will send money to help Utah. One of them is the Navajo Nation. They will be getting $214 million.

Romney said, “Legislation to bring running water to the 40% of Navajo Nation in Utah who lack it.”

Along with the Navajo Nation, Utah’s other Native Americans will be getting some help from this. They were among the hardest hit by COVID-19, so aid was desperately needed.

Romney states that there is “$1.7 billion for the construction and improvement of Indian Health Services sanitation facilities.”

The Salt Lake City International Airport will also be receiving some help from this Bill.

Romney said, “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes $25 billion for airport improvement projects such as expansions, installations, assisting with planning, rebuilding runways, improving lighting and runways, and air navigation facilities.”