President Joe Biden signed a trillion dollar infrastructure bill Monday.
It is the largest federal investment in infrastructure in more than a decade -- and will provide good-paying jobs, the White House says, by directing $110 billion to upgrade roads and bridges, $65 billion to improve high-speed internet and $15 billion to replace lead pipes in the country's drinking-water system.
"My message to the American people is this: America is moving again and your life is going to change for the better,” said Biden.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo were at the signing ceremony with East Bay Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks after giving their input.
The package includes billions for California.
Among the projects:
- $5 billion to update the power grid, to prevent blackouts and shutoffs, as well as utility-caused wildfires
- $25.3 billion for highways
- $4.2 billion for bridge replacement and repairs over five years.
VTA says they'll get funding to help build the Silicon Valley BART extension.
Caltrain will get money to help electrify its system -- swapping diesel trains with electric ones.
And there’s more up for grabs.
“This is truly a historic investment in infrastructure and provides a lot of funding opportunities we can now apply for,” said Alicia Trost, BART spokesperson. “Our biggest project we’re hoping to get more money for is to replace our transit control system and then that will let us run trains closer together. So what that means to the average person, your wait time is far less.”
The bipartisan infrastructure bill is the biggest legislative victory for the president.
But with his approval rating dropping to just 41%, how big of a win is it?
“He’s delighted. But look, you’re going to have to wait to see all these changes. You’re going to have to wait to see contracts given out, people starting to work, jobs starting to develop with construction,” said NBC Bay Area Political Analyst Larry Gerston. “That’s going to take a few months, so the question is, will this be enough to turn around the president’s popularity.”
One more thing that can help in California: millions of dollars will go to increase salaries and convert at least 1,000 seasonal firefighters to permanent, year-round positions.