Biden infrastructure program so far has sent $2.6 billion to Maryland

WASHINGTON (April 28, 2023)—President Joe Biden's infrastructure program so far has funneled $2.6 billion over the last two years to projects in Maryland, according to White House data.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by Biden in November 2021, has been touted as a once-in-a-generation piece of legislation and the president is highlighting it as one of his key accomplishments as he makes his bid for reelection.

"…To have the strongest economy in the world…we need the best infrastructure in the world: roads, bridges, airports, water systems, high-speed Internet and so much more," Biden told the North America's Building Trades Unions legislative conference in Washington on Tuesday.

The White House so far has announced funding for 25,000 projects across the country, the president said.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, said in a statement that "the bipartisan infrastructure law is making transformative investments in Maryland and around the country."

"We are seeing the impact today from the earliest federal funding to be awarded on a competitive basis or apportioned through formula funding, and this process will continue in the years to come," Cardin said.

"The infrastructure modernization law is building a stronger Maryland," Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, said. "Just as important for Maryland, it is also helping reconnect communities divided by harmful infrastructure decisions of the past, combat the climate crisis, and support crucial economic drivers in our state like the Port of Baltimore and a healthy Chesapeake Bay."

Maryland's second-largest county, Prince George's, has received nearly $103 million for 41 projects, according to White House data. $56.4 million for roads, bridges and major projects, $25 million for public transportation and $21.3 million for safety, which includes transportation and water safety.

"This money will allow Prince George's County to build new and repair existing infrastructure all while creating good-paying jobs," said Rep. Glenn Ivey, D-Maryland, whose district includes the county. "Prince George's County has been historically redlined, and this is an opportunity to help right that wrong while reconnecting the communities that have been cut off by historic disinvestment."

Nearly $21 million will go to a new, multimodal facility at the New Carrollton Station to connect Amtrak, MARC and Metrorail trains with the future Metro Purple Line as well as Greyhound and local bus services.

Prince George's County also has been awarded $25 million to buy electric-powered buses and to upgrade systems to support those buses.

Baltimore County has received $55.2 million and Dorchester County, Maryland's fourth-smallest county according to 2020 Maryland census data, has received $47.6 million.

However, 98 percent of Dorchester County's money comes from one $46.5 million project for the restoration of parts of Barren Island and James Island.

In a fact sheet on infrastructure projects, the Biden administration said that in the last decade, Maryland had experienced 33 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $5 billion in damages. The administration and Congress allocated funds to strengthen infrastructure (what is termed "resilience") against the effects of climate change, severe weather and potential cyberattacks. Maryland has received $341 million for such work.

Montgomery County, the state's largest county, has received $24.7 million. Its main project covers $14.9 million for grants to buy low- or no-emission buses, with an additional $8.8 million going to roads and bridges in the county.

One of the state's main projects is the Frederick Douglass Tunnel Project, which includes two new, high-capacity tunnels for electrified passenger trains that will improve the speed and capacity of the rail system. The project is slated to receive $4 billion.

When Biden visited Baltimore in January, he highlighted the much-needed improvements to the current tunnel, which he traveled through for decades as an Amtrak passenger. The new tunnel will be renamed to honor Douglass.

Other Maryland-specific spending includes:

• $144 million for clean water projects, including replacing lead pipes

• $25 million for improvements to Baltimore Washington International Airport

• $84 million in Chesapeake Bay ecosystem restoration

• $65 million to upgrade the energy grid, expand clean-energy technologies and weatherize homes

• $22.7 million to install electric vehicle charging stations around the state

• $4.8 million for ports and waterways projects

• $4.8 million to cap old oil and gas wells

• $500,000 to clean up Superfund and brownfield sites

"The federal government has a special responsibility and a financial stake in WMATA/Metro," Cardin said in a statement. "Years of neglectful decisions cannot be reversed overnight. But a safe and reliable Metro is integral to the federal government and the Washington region."

"We are rebuilding roads and bridges and ports and airports," Vice President Kamala Harris said last week at an event where she announced nearly $300 million dollars in funding for nine projects nationwide. "We are laying thousands of miles of fiber optic cable to connect families to high speed internet. We are removing every lead pipe in our nation so that our babies can drink clean water and live up to their God-given potential."

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