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U.S. Sen. Rob Portman: Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will deliver for Ohio

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide an historic investment in in our nation’s infrastructure, repairing and upgrading our crumbling roads, bridges, and more, while improving productivity, growing our economy, and creating good-paying jobs.

Here are a few of the highlights of this landmark bill, many of which will benefit Ohio directly:

• Provides for historic investment in Ohio’s nearly 123,000 miles of roadway. Even though Ohio’s roadway network is extensive, congestion costs Ohio motorists an estimated $4.7 billion each year in lost time and wasted fuel, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), who scored Ohio’s roads at a “D” in their 2021 infrastructure report card.

This package provides $110 billion in new spending over five years to construct, rebuild and maintain roads and highways.
Specifically, this package provides $11.5 billion in highway funding for Ohio, on top of the over $20 billion in competitive grant funding for highway and multi-modal projects.

Provides funding to help address the Brent Spence Bridge and other major Ohio infrastructure projects. Ohio is 2nd in the nation for the number of bridges, with 44,736 bridges, nearly half of which are not in good condition.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides $60 billion, including $45 billion in new grant funding, for state and local governments to fund projects like the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project as well as other major projects across Ohio.

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• Provides historic new funding to close the digital divide
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides $65 billion to increase access to broadband services to connect more Americans to the Internet. Specifically, the bill provides $42.5 billion in funding to states to deploy high speed networks to unserved and underserved communities.

Currently, more than 300,000 Ohio households, or approximately 1 million Ohioans, lack access to high-speed internet.
Further, the package continues the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, affordability efforts beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

The package also establishes grant programs totaling $550 million to promote digital inclusion efforts in communities that lack the skills, technologies and support needed to take advantage of broadband connections.

Addresses per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and lead remediation to improve drinking water quality

• Helps finish the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS)
The bill will provide $1.25 billion to help finish the ADHS, a series of highway corridors connecting 13 Appalachian states, from New York to Alabama. Ohio stands to receive $86.2 million in funding through this legislation. This provision is based on my bipartisan Finish the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) Act to provide the first dedicated funding for the network of transportation corridors across Appalachia since 2012.

Supports domestic energy production and reduces carbon pollution

Will make it easier for power plants and industrial facilities to finance the purchase and installation of carbon capture, utilization, and storage equipment, as well as direct air capture (DAC) projects through the use of private activity bonds (PABs). This provision is based upon the bipartisan Carbon Capture Improvement Act Senator Portman introduced to facilitate the adoption of carbon capture and direct air capture technologies.

Rob Portman is a Republican and the junior U.S. senator representing Ohio. His office can be reached at 202-224-3353.

– Editor’s note: This column has been excerpted from the original