Federal infrastructure dollars fund high-speed internet, ferry

Federal infrastructure dollars fund high-speed internet, ferry

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), was signed into law by President Biden in November 2021, and was followed by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of August 2022.  As of August 2023, these bills have funded $3.60 billion in federal grants to Washington state agencies, including $3.59 billion from the IIJA/BIL and $9 million from the IRA.

The federal funds are used for projects within categories listed below:

Category

Funding amount

Internet/Cyber Security

 $1,232,484,845

Roads and Bridges

 $2,105,271,887

Ferry Projects

 $88,120,000

Clean Energy & Power

 $83,898,331

Environmental & Natural

 $86,413,067

Other

 $549,204

Total

 $3,596,737,334

Project highlights

  • The Washington State Department of Commerce is awarded $1.2 billion in implementation grants through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program (BEAD) to help provide access to high-speed internet across the state over a five-year period. The BEAD funding will be used to deploy or upgrade broadband networks to ensure that everyone has access to reliable, affordable, high-speed internet service.  
  • The Washington State Department of Transportation is awarded $88.1 million for construction of ferry boats and ferry terminal facilities and supporting passenger ferry systems as they transition to climate-friendly technologies.
  • The Department of Commerce is awarded $58.3 million for clean energy and energy efficiency, such as weatherization and expanding the state energy program.
  • The Department of Commerce is awarded $3 million planning grants through the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants Program in the IRA to develop strong climate pollution reduction strategies.
  • The Department of Natural Resources is awarded $25 million for the Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program. The funding assists at-risk communities with planning for and lowering wildfire risks on tribal, state, and privately managed land. Most of the awards will be passed through to communities.

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