WI Communities Prepare to Receive Federal Infrastructure Funding
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Six months ago this week, President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan infrastructure law, and Wisconsin's towns and cities are planning how best to spend billions of dollars earmarked for the state.
The law includes more than half a billion dollars to improve the state's public transportation.
Satya Rhodes-Conway, mayor of Madison, said at a news conference at a city bus garage Tuesday the city will be using some of the resources to help fund a new fleet of nearly fifty electric buses, which will save the city nearly a quarter million gallons of diesel fuel annually.
"And we will save up to 135 metric tons of greenhouse gases for each bus each year," Rhodes-Conway explained. "That's a really remarkable reduction in our climate-change contributions."
The package also includes new funding to support rural broadband access, about $5.2 billion to rehabilitate Wisconsin's highways and $225 million to address its failing bridges. According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, nearly a thousand of Wisconsin's bridges were considered structurally deficient as of last year.
The measure also includes $841 million spread over five years to improve the state's drinking water infrastructure.
Rhodes-Conway pointed out the state is also anticipating $12.8 million annually to help address Perfluorinated and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS) and other chemical contamination across the state. PFAS, a family of human-made chemicals, are an issue in several Wisconsin communities, and remediation can be costly. Madison is designing a roughly $500,000 filtration system to address PFAS pollution at one of its drinking-water wells.
"If we get the funds from the infrastructure act, and the filtration system is built, it's likely to be the first municipal PFAS treatment facility in the state," Rhodes-Conway noted. "There's no doubt that more municipalities will follow."
Rhodes-Conway added Madison still is finalizing its PFAS remediation strategy, and the federal government needs to give final approval to those plans before the city can receive the funding.
Tuesday's news conference was the first in a series of events hosted by the advocacy groups Opportunity Wisconsin and For Our Future Wisconsin highlighting how the infrastructure law will benefit the state.
get more stories like this via email
Groups fighting for Palestinian rights are praising a new fact sheet on religious discrimination from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for …
Lawmakers and immigrants-rights activists in the Commonwealth are hoping to pass the Language Access and Inclusion Act, which would dramatically …
New U.S. Department of Agriculture rules will target fraud and increase oversight of the $64 billion-a-year organic food industry. In Iowa, the …
By Jennifer Weiss-Wolf for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News …
Health and Wellness
With Black History Month underway, Wisconsin researchers and support groups are highlighting the disparities in cases of Alzheimer's disease…
North Dakota's plan to boost animal agriculture has reignited a thorny issue: loosening restrictions on corporate ownership of farms. The state said …
Oregon is pursuing an aggressive climate plan to switch to renewable energy sources, but it faces one often overlooked issue: enough high-voltage …
A measure in the Washington State Legislature would provide free school meals to K-12 students, but nutrition service workers are worried they are …