As a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that passed the House on Friday awaits signature by President Joe Biden, the Pittsburgh business community offered their thoughts on what it could mean for the region.
Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald was quick to herald the good news.
He noted how the bill is “going to put a lot of people to work” and when asked where it might help the most, he said, “it’s really all of the above.”
That includes the prospect for expanding transit, specifically referencing the potential to expand the East Busway and widen Bates Street into Oakland, as well as providing a major new source of funding to help ALCOSAN meet the demands of the federal consent decree over Allegheny County’s stormwater management issues, a multi-billion-dollar project in the coming years for the county.
“The recently passed infrastructure bill will help close the digital divide in our region. It will increase broadband access and lower prices for internet service by delivering $65 billion in broadband infrastructure deployment across the country. The bill also will infuse an additional $4 billion in new federal funds to increase PennDOT’s statewide allotment from $9 billion to $13 billon over a five-year period, helping to close the state’s growing transportation funding gap. Accordingly, Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission will work with our state and local partners to make sure that important southwestern Pennsylvania transportation priorities are addressed through this increased funding.”Vincent Valdes, executive director, Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission
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