The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is the largest long-term investment in our infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century. The need for action in Rhode Island is clear and recently released state-level data demonstrates that the Infrastructure
Investment and Jobs Act will deliver for Rhode Island. For decades, infrastructure in Rhode Island has suffered from a systemic lack of investment. In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Rhode Island a C- grade on its infrastructure report card. The historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will make life better for millions of Rhode Island residents, create a generation of good-paying union jobs and economic growth, and position the United States
to win the 21st century.
To date, $1 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding has been announced and is headed to Rhode Island with over 30 specific projects identified for funding. Since the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed, Rhode Island is set to
receive more than $885 million for transportation to invest in roads, bridges, public transit, ports and airports and over $66 million for clean water. And, as of today, more than 45,000 households across the state are receiving affordable internet
due to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Many more projects will be added in the coming months, as funding opportunities become grant awards and as formula funds become specific projects. By reaching communities all across Rhode Island – including
rural communities and historically underserved populations – the law makes critical investments that will improve lives for Rhode Islanders and position the state for success.
Specifically, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will make the following investments:
- Roads and Bridges. In Rhode Island there are 148 bridges and over 860 miles of highway in poor condition. Additionally, 22% of Rhode Island’s bridges are in poor condition and considered structurally deficient. Rhode Island has a highway and bridge funding gap of $8.1 billion. Since
2011, commute times have increased by 10.2% in Rhode Island and on average, each driver pays $845 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair.
- Based on formula funding alone, Rhode Island would expect to receive $1.5 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $242 million for bridge replacement and repairs under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs
Act over five (5) years.
- Rhode Island can also compete for the $12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program for economically significant bridges and nearly $16 billion of national funding in the bill dedicated for major projects that will deliver substantial economic benefits
- Rail and Transit. Rhode Island is home to one of the last freight rail bottlenecks on the Northeast corridor. To alleviate the bottleneck, additional track is likely needed that would allow freight trains to bypass Providence Station.
Residents of Rhode Island who take public transportation spend an extra 120.1% of their time commuting. In addition, 27% of transit vehicles in the state are past useful life.
- Based on formula funding alone, Rhode Island would expect to receive $272 million over five years under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to improve public transportation options across the state.
- Electric Vehicle Infrastructure. The IIJA invests $7.5 billion to build out the first-ever national network of EV chargers in the United States.
- Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Rhode Island would expect to receive $23 million over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state.
- Rhode Island will also have the opportunity to apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging in the bill.
- Broadband. Broadband internet is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school learning, health care, and to stay connected. Yet 12% of Rhode Island households do not have an internet subscription, and
1.34% of Rhode Islanders live in areas where, under the FCC’s benchmark, there is no broadband infrastructure. Even where infrastructure is available, broadband may be too expensive to be within reach.
- Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Rhode Island will receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, including providing access to the at least 14,000 residents who currently lack it. And, under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, 247,000 or 24% of people in Rhode Island will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access.
- Clean Water/Wastewater. The law contains nearly $44 billion to strengthen the nation’s drinking water and wastewater systems, remove lead pipes and service lines, and eliminate harmful contaminants through the EPA’s State
Revolving Funds programs. These programs, administered by the states, make grants and loans eligible to communities for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure investments. Rhode Island reports a $833 million drinking water investment gap.
- Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, based on the traditional state revolving fund formula, Rhode Island will expect to receive $378 million over five (5) years to improve water infrastructure across the state and ensure that clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities.
- Airports. Rhode Island is home to one (1) major airport that will benefit from the $25 billion in increased airport infrastructure funding provided over five (5) years from the IIJA.
- Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, airports in Rhode Island would receive approximately $45 million for infrastructure development for airports over five (5) years.
- Ports and Inland Waterways. Rhode Island is home to one (1) major ports and 40 miles of inland waterways that will benefit from $17 billion in new infrastructure funding over 5 years from the IIJA.