EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — We’re getting a breakdown Thursday night on funding headed to Pennsylvania from the $1 trillion Infrastructure Bill signed into law this week.
Eyewitness News spoke with Senator Bob Casey (D) Pennsylvania about how Pennsylvania and its residents will benefit.
Just how bad are Pennsylvania’s bridges? According to the Annual Highway Report, the Keystone State lands in the bottom five nationally for a second straight year.
“We’ve got hundreds of bridges that are in poor condition just in Lackawanna and Luzerne County,” Senator Casey said.
And many more across the rest of northeastern and central Pennsylvania. But now, the commonwealth will receive $1.6 billion earmarked just for bridge repair and replacement through the Infrastructure Bill that is now law.
“There’s no question that bridges will be at or near the top of that list,” Casey said.
Several billion dollars will also go toward fixing rough Pennsylvania roads which will likely result in PennDOT tackling more projects. Also on the ‘to do’ list? Replacing 160,000 lead water service lines which can contaminate water carried into homes, businesses and schools. Pennsylvania will receive $1.4 billion over the next five years for water infrastructure.
“All of these infrastructure investments will help as well when it comes to mitigation, that we have so many floods in northeastern Pennsylvania over time. You know that. You’ve covered it,” Casey said.
Another major investment? About $3 billion targeted to reclaim abandoned mines which impact surrounding waterways.
“By one estimate, you’ve got at least 43 counties out of our 67 where you have just the abandoned mine lands problem. So this kind of investment is going to help us enormously,” Casey said.
Pennsylvanians can expect improved rail infrastructure with $12 billion earmarked for new Amtrak intercity service to help connect Scranton, Allentown and Reading to New York City. Overall, Pennsylvania will receive well more than $20 billion for infrastructure needs.
“When you go down the list, Mark, there’s probably places where I would say that you need more money here or more money there but it is a substantial investment,” Casey said.
The infrastructure funding will help Pennsylvania reclaim abandoned gas wells, expand internet access, and provide weatherization for low-income Pennsylvanians to cut energy costs.
The federal infrastructure funds for Pennsylvania will be spread out over five years.