Here’s how the infrastructure bill, if passed, could impact RI

Politics

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ U.S. Sen. Jack Reed on Friday briefed reporters about the potential impacts the recently passed infrastructure bill could have on the Ocean State.

The bill, which would deliver billions of dollars worth of upgrades over the next five years, passed the U.S. Senate earlier this week and now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Reed said the $1 trillion plan would provide Rhode Island with about $1.7 billion in highway funding, $277 million for mass-transit, $45 million for airports and $23 million for new electric vehicle charging stations.

“We’re reinvesting in the economy,” Reed said. “If we don’t, we will fall behind further and further.”

The state would also receive $100 million to expand high-speed internet connections and help low-income residents get affordable Internet access, Reed said, and $55 billion for water infrastructure.

In addition, Reed said Rhode Island will be able to apply for federal grants under a $12.5 billion competitive program for economically significant bridges or a $16 billion program to fund major projects deemed to provide substantial economic benefits.

“We’ve done very well in this competition,” he said. “Over the last several years, we’ve racked up about $300 million in these competitive grants for the state.”

Those grants, Reed said, have helped fund the revamp of the Providence Viaduct, the Pell Bridge ramp replacements and construction of the Downtown Transit Corridor.

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