What the Infrastructure Bill Does for Pennsylvania

Marc Stier |

Under the formulas contained in the bill, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will bring $17.8 billion in new spending to Pennsylvania or over $1,400 for each resident of the state. (The state will be able to apply for additional funds as well that could bring the total of spending in Pennsylvania up to $50 billion.) Funds will be allocated roughly as follows:

  • Roads and bridges. Based on the formula alone, Pennsylvania will receive $11.3 billion for federal-aid apportioned highway programs and $1.6 billion for bridge replacement and repairs. Pennsylvania can also compete for funds under the $12.5-billion Bridge Investment Program for economically significant bridges as well as for the $16 billion dedicated for major projects that will deliver substantial economic benefits to communities.
    • These funds are critical. Our state has 3,353 bridges and more than 7,540 miles of highway in poor condition. Since 2011, commute times have increased by 7.6% in Pennsylvania, and on average, each driver pays $620 per year in what we call the “pothole tax,” for repair costs due to driving on roads in need of repair.
    • The funds will not only be used to repair our roads and bridges but will be focused on making them safer for cyclists and pedestrians as well as drivers, and on climate change mitigation.
  • Public transportation. Based on formula funding in the legislation, Pennsylvania should expect to receive $2.8 billion over five years. While much of this money will go to fund SEPTA in southeastern Pennsylvania and PATCO in Allegheny County, the other 13 major and additional smaller bus transportation systems all over the state will benefit as well. These funds are especially critical to Pennsylvanians who take public transportation as they spend an extra 68.8% of their time commuting. Moreover, non-white households are five times more likely to commute via public transportation than white households.
  • Electric vehicle charging stations. Under the formula contained in the legislation, Pennsylvania will receive about $171 million over five years to support the expansion of an electric vehicle charging network throughout the state. The state will be able to apply for funds under a $2.5-billion grant program in the legislation.
  • High-speed internet.  Pennsylvania will receive a minimum allocation of $100 million—and possibly up to an additional $900 million—to help increase broadband coverage across the state, which will provide access to the at least 394,000 Pennsylvanians who currently lack it. In addition, 917,000, or 23%, of people in Pennsylvania will be eligible for $14.2 billion in Affordability Connectivity Benefits, which will help low-income families afford internet access. High-speed internet access will help families, students, and small businesses, especially in rural areas.
  • Clean drinking water. Based on the traditional state revolving fund formula, Pennsylvania will expect to receive $1.4 billion over five years to improve water infrastructure across the state under the legislation.
  • Climate change, cyber attacks, and extreme weather events. From 2010 to 2020, Pennsylvania has experienced 37 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $10 billion in damages. Based on historical formula funding levels, Pennsylvania will receive $49 million over five years to protect against wildfires and $26 million to protect against cyber attacks under the legislation.
  • Weatherization and energy efficiency.  Pennsylvanians will benefit from the legislation’s $3.5 billion national investment in weatherization which will reduce energy costs for families and small businesses.  
  • Airports. Pennsylvania will receive approximately $355 million for the state’s airports over five years.
  • Repairing the damage from fossil fuels. The legislation includes $21 billion to clean up abandoned mine lands, plug orphaned oil and gas wells that leak methane and harm wildlife, and clean up toxic Superfund sites. Much of these federal investments will come to WV, PA, OH, and KY. These states have two-thirds of unreclaimed U.S. abandoned mine lands and should receive about $7.5 billion of the $11.3 billion in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for AML reclamation.