$1.2 trillion infrastructure bill includes funding for Port of Los Angeles, airport, electric buses and renewables – Daily News

By MARGARET SHUTTLEWORTH | city ​​news service

LOS ANGELES – President Joe Biden signed a $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure bill today, bringing billions of dollars to California for public transit projects, wildfire preparedness , repairing bridges and roads, electric vehicle charging networks and more.

Mayor Eric Garcetti attended the signing of the bill on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday afternoon.

“The infrastructure deal means funding mega-projects like the Sepulveda Transit Corridor (of the Metro), which will revolutionize the way Angelenos get around. With more investment in (subway) bus lanes and the NextGen Bus Plan (Los Angeles Department of Transportation) network, we can speed up our transit system and reduce congestion,” Garcetti said on Twitter after the signing of the bill.

Garcetti also said Los Angeles would receive funding for:

— Electrify Metro’s bus fleet by 2030

— Metrolink projects, including the Union Station Link project

— Ecosystem restoration projects, including habitat restoration of the Los Angeles River

— Modernization efforts at Los Angeles International Airport

— Port of Los Angeles cargo flow improvement projects

— The expansion of the city’s electric vehicle charging network

— Climate resilience and extreme heat mitigation efforts, including through cool pavements and tree canopies;

— Water recycling and reuse projects

— The transition of the city by 2035 towards 100% renewable energy

“This once-in-a-generation deal will transform the infrastructure of our country and LA for the better,” Garcetti said.

Stephanie Wiggins, CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, called the $9.45 billion bill for public transportation projects in California a “game changer,” noting that it is the ” biggest ever federal investment in public transit”.

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“I think we can all agree that this will modernize America’s infrastructure, and in particular our public transit infrastructure,” Wiggins said on a conference call with Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles. , last week.

Wiggins said the bill would impact Los Angeles by doubling the size of the capital investment grant program to $4.6 billion, allowing the transit agency to expand its system to better serve the 10 million people of LA County. Wiggins noted a study that found a vehicle gives residents access to 17 times more destinations than the public transit system.

“So we need to build a rail network, this infrastructure bill will really help us do that,” Wiggins said. She added that the bill will also improve the city’s bus network and facilities.

“What does this mean for LA? More than 80% of our users take the bus. Buses are the backbone of our decongestion effort,” Wiggins said.

“This infrastructure bill will help LA buy zero-emission buses, it will help us establish the electrical infrastructure to run these new vehicles. It also includes federal funding to expand programs that ensure the air we breathe is clean for our communities.

Wiggins also praised the bill for allowing agencies to implement local hiring preference for grant-funded projects. Previously, federal procurement regulations did not allow agencies, such as Metro, to require bidders to set up local hiring programs. A local hire pilot program was implemented in 2015 by the US Department of Transportation, but ended in August 2017. The Biden administration had previously decided to restore the program.

“If there is a transit or freeway project that is being paid for by local taxpayers’ money in South Los Angeles, South Los Angeles residents should be able to be first in line to get the jobs. which are created. If there is a transit or freeway project that is being paid for by local taxpayer dollars in West Los Angeles, West Los Angeles residents should be able to be on the front line to get the jobs that are created. With the local hire provision signed into law, they can be,” said Rep. Karen Bass, who is running for mayor of Los Angeles and has introduced local hire legislation in Congress.

“As our economy recovers from this crushing pandemic, we need to make sure we come back better than before and stronger than before. We are creating thousands of well-paying jobs in Los Angeles and putting taxpayer dollars back into the communities that initially funded the projects.

Port of Los Angeles Deputy Executive Director of Stakeholder Engagement David Libatique also said on Bass’s conference call that the infrastructure bill would be a game-changer for the port, with $17 billion. reserved for United States ports. supply chain disruptions and a backlog at the San Pedro port complex, Libatique said the port would use water and land infrastructure funding to better prepare for future surges.

“So we see a tremendous opportunity with more than $2 billion over five years dedicated to the port infrastructure development program. Where we see it going here in the Los Angeles commercial corridor is for projects that are going to support and alleviate the congestion that we’re seeing. We have in mind, for example, an 80-acre site on Terminal Island port property that will serve as a support facility to accept (empty containers.)”

The facility would reduce the number of empty containers that lie in neighborhoods around the port.

“Over the long term, we believe this infrastructure funding will be a huge game-changer, as it will give us the ability to invest in facilities that will allow our system to adapt as we experience freight increases like the historic increase in freight that we are currently experiencing.

Governor Gavin Newsom praised the bill after it was passed by Congress Nov. 6 as a “historic infrastructure package (which) should accelerate investment in our clean transportation infrastructure, help alleviate some of the worst impacts of climate change and accelerating new projects that create thousands of jobs.

The state should receive:

— $25.3 billion for federal assistance programs for highways

— $4.2 billion for the replacement and repair of bridges over five years

— $9.45 billion over five years to improve transit options across the state

— $384 million over five years to support the expansion of an electric vehicle charging network, with the possibility of applying for the $2.5 billion grant dedicated to electric vehicle charging

– At least $100 million to help provide statewide broadband coverage

— $84 million over five years to protect against forest fires

— $40 million to protect against cyberattacks

— $3.5 billion over five years to improve California’s water infrastructure and ensure clean and safe drinking water

— $1.5 billion for airport infrastructure development over five years

The bill includes legislation introduced by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-CA, to improve tribal health infrastructure, strengthen power grids, improve water resilience, help ensure clean drinking water and electrify fleets. of school buses.

“The enactment of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide long-overdue historic investments to rebuild America’s infrastructure and public transportation, while creating millions of well-paying union jobs,” said Padilla. “I am especially thrilled that this legislation includes some of the first bills I introduced as a U.S. Senator and will improve the lives of Californians by bolstering our limited water resources, electrifying school buses, improving the resilience of our power grid and provide critical investments for tribal communities.

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