When it comes to repairing and replacing infrastructure, there is one clear priority for US city and county administrators: roads and transportation. In a recent survey of government leaders, more than 57% said roads in their communities needed the most improvement.
In the analysis, published by Cartegraph and Government Technology’s Center for Digital Government, 73% of respondents said funding is “an urgent need”. Behind roads, administrators ranked broadband (35%), bridges and tunnels (34%), stormwater (34%), buildings and facilities (34%) and public transport (32%) .
“Once in a generation, the funding comes to us. It is incumbent upon us not only to reimagine the future, but also to commit to rebuilding for that future,” Nick Kittle, government performance and innovation coach at Cartegraph said in a statement.
That road repairs have been ranked among the highest priorities for communities is no surprise – the sometimes dilapidated state of American roads has been well documented in communities across the country. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ annual report on America’s infrastructure gave the country’s roads a “D” grade this year. The report noted frequent underfunding as the main cause, concluding that “more than 40% of systems are in poor or poor condition”.
To address this national need, a substantial portion of the bipartisan $1.2 trillion Infrastructure and Jobs Act targets transportation infrastructure. In addition to setting up new programs, it strengthens the coffers of old ones. This year, for example, the Department of Transportation’s RAISE program, which helps urban and rural communities upgrade roads, bridges, transit stations, railroads, ports and other modes of transport , has distributed more than $2.2 billion to 166 projects in all 50 states. . The funding represents an increase of more than double the amount awarded last year under the same program.
This has a huge impact on local governments.
Among the programs that have received funding, for example, are an $11.3 million grant awarded to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to revitalize the Hill District neighborhood. The project will improve pedestrian infrastructure and make other improvements to safely connect low-income residents to transit hubs and employment opportunities. New electric vehicle charging options and improvements to stormwater infrastructure will contribute to environmental sustainability.
“For the Hill to rise and regain its former vibrancy as the center of black cultural and economic life in our city, we must heed the decisions of the past in order to right the wrong,” the mayor said. Pittsburgh, Ed Gainey, in a statement. . “This grant is not just an investment in critical infrastructure. It is an investment in a new path to equity and an investment in correcting these long standing damages.
Pittsburgh will receive another $25 million to improve seven high-collision corridors. Proposed improvements include traffic safety treatments, signal upgrades, ADA accessibility improvements, and various roadway improvements.
A fact sheet published by the Ministry of Transport documents projects like this, funded by the same program, now starting in counties, cities and tribes across the country.
Elsewhere in Alaska, the Qawalangin Tribe in Unalaska State is building a new wharf as part of the program to increase capacity at its terminal. The $22 million project will include a barge ramp, wharf, three mooring dolphins and develop over 5 acres of adjacent container storage area.
Stamford, Conn., received $2.1 million to improve safety at nine dangerous intersections by adding more visible crosswalks and shortening crossing distances. The need for upgrades is clear.
“There were 480 collisions and 101 injuries over a four-year period at the nine intersections in the project area. This area is ranked in the top three for total number of injury crashes in the city and first in pedestrian crashes, with an average of 5 pedestrian crashes per year,” the project description reads.
And in Colorado, the state Department of Transportation received $24 million to improve parking lots and bike and pedestrian paths in three mobility hubs: Grand Junction, Rifle and Glenwood Springs. The funding will also be used to improve roads along the I-70 business loop.
As communities benefit from the unprecedented amount of funding flowing into communities through competitive and non-competitive programs, federal agencies have been empowered to support more local projects”than ever before,” said US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We are proud to support so many outstanding infrastructure projects in communities large and small, modernizing America’s transportation systems to make them safer, more affordable, more accessible, and more sustainable.”