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Infrastructure bill: What money is going into Texas projects

The White House is projecting the Lone Star State will receive about $35 billion during a five-year span that will go towards a variety of projects.

DALLAS — Editor's note: Above video aired Jan. 20, 2022.

President Joe Biden signed a $1 trillion infrastructure deal into law in November 2021, with a significant amount of this money going into Texas projects.

Biden said he hopes this deal will deliver jobs, clean water, high-speed internet and a clean energy future.

The White House is projecting the Lone Star State will receive about $35 billion during a five-year span that will go toward a variety of projects, some revolving around roads, bridges and airports. Other parts of this deal will also go into repairs and improved weatherization equipment.

In a White House press release focused solely on how the infrastructure deal would impact Texas, it said in part, "For decades, infrastructure in Texas has suffered from a systemic lack of investment. In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Texas a C- grade on its infrastructure report card. The historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will make life better for millions of Texas residents, create a generation of good-paying union jobs and economic growth, and position the United States to win the 21st century."

Texas lawmakers had differing opinions on this infrastructure deal, as Democrats were mainly for it and Republicans against it.

Here is a closer look at where this money would be distributed in Texas, based on estimations from the federal government:

Federal-aid highway apportioned programs ($26.9 billion)

Texas is expected to receive $26.9 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $537 million for bridge replacement and repairs over a five-year span.

This would include repairing and rebuilding roads and bridges across the state with a focus on climate change mitigation and safety for users.

In Texas, there are 818 bridges and over 19,400 miles of highway in poor condition, according to the White House. Federal officials say since 2011, commute times have increased by 11.4% in Texas, and on average, each driver pays $709 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair.

As a part of this federal aid, Texas can also compete for the $12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program to improve the condition and safety of bridges.

RELATED: Fort Worth's Panther Island project gets $403 million from Army Corps of Engineers

Public transportation ($3.3 billion)

Texas is expected to get $3.3 billion in a five-year time frame that would improve public transportation.

Texans who take public transportation spend an extra 80.8% of their time commuting while 12% of trains and other transit vehicles in the state are past useful life, according to the White House.

This money would go toward providing better, more sustainable options for Texans.

Water infrastructure ($2.9 billion)

Texas will receive $2.9 billion during a five-year period to improve water infrastructure and bring cleaner, safer drinking water. This part of the deal will also work to eliminate lead service lines and pipes.

These changes will tie in with the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program, which is a federal-state partnership that provides communities low-cost financing for a wide range of water quality infrastructure projects.

Currently, up to 10 million American households and 400,000 schools and child care centers lack safe drinking water, according to the White House. This would work to fix some of these problems.

RELATED: Natural gas giant threatens to cut off fuel for power plants in multimillion-dollar winter storm fee dispute

Airports ($1.2 billion)

Under the federal infrastructure bill, Texas airports would get about $1.2 billion for infrastructure development during a five-year time period.

The United State's airports lag far behind our competitors, the White House says. Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, airports in Texas would receive approximately $1.2 billion for infrastructure development for airports over five years.

The infrastructure law will provide $15 billion for airport-related projects across the country. These projects are defined under the existing Airport Improvement Grant and Passenger Facility Charge criteria. 

The money can be invested in runways, taxiways, safety and sustainability projects, as well as terminal, airport-transit connections and roadway projects.

Electric vehicle charging network ($408 million)

Texas will receive $408 million over five years to support the expansion of an electric vehicle charging network in the state. Texas will also have the opportunity to apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to electric vehicle charging in the bill.

The U.S. market share of plug-in electric vehicle sales is only one-third the size of the Chinese electric vehicle market, the White House says. The bill will invest $7.5 billion to build out a national network of electric vehicle chargers in the United States and is a part of President Biden's plan to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles to address the climate crisis and support domestic manufacturing jobs.

Biden has set a target of 50% of electric vehicle (EV) sale shares in the U.S. by 2030.

RELATED: Texas military communities to receive $15M in grants

Broadband coverage ($100 million)

Under the federal infrastructure deal, the state will receive a minimum of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, including access to at least 1,058,000 Texans who don't currently have it. 

The White House says 8,381,000 or 29% of people in Texas will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit Program, which officials say will help low-income families afford internet access.

Only 14% of Texas households do not have an internet subscription and 4% of Texans live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure, according to the White House.

Wildfire protection ($53 million)

Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, based on historical formula funding levels, The White House says Texas will expect to receive $53 million over five years to protect against wildfires.

In late January 2022, a wildfire in Bastrop County, Texas, that started as a prescribed burn impacted 812 acres of land.  

In December 2021, North Texas firefighters traveled to West Texas to help with ongoing wildfires as a part of an order from Gov. Greg Abbott.

RELATED: Construction begins Monday on three-year project to improve traffic, safety on US 380

Cyberattacks protection ($42 million)

Texas is also expected to receive $42 million to protect against cyberattacks.

In 2021, multiple North Texas school districts had to deal with some form of a cyberattack including Dallas ISD and Allen ISD.

In July 2021, the Department of Homeland Security announced new requirements for U.S. pipeline operators to bolster cybersecurity following a May ransomware attack that disrupted gas delivery across the East Coast.

Weatherization (unknown)

Texans will also benefit from the bill’s $3.5 billion national investment in weatherization that is expected to reduce energy costs for families. However, it is unclear right now how much of this will be allocated to Texas.

In 2021, Winter Storm Uri caused many issues in Texas, freezing some generators and knocking others offline due to energy demand outpacing available supply. The issues led to blackouts in different parts of the state, leaving many Texans in the dark for days at a time. 

A total of 246 state residents died during the storm, with the Texas Department of State Health Services reporting the deaths were indirectly, directly or possibly attributable to the storm. 

In June 2021, Gov. Abbott signed two bills into law approved by the Texas Legislature in response to these winter storms, hoping to improve the state's power grid.

From 2010 to 2020, Texas has experienced 67 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $200 billion in damages, according to the White House.

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