Bill set to provide millions to rebuild WNY & support local jobs
Congressman Brian Higgins is headed to the White House for the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act signing ceremony. Higgins voted to approve the bill and has been a longtime advocate for a greater federal investment in America’s infrastructure.
Higgins said, “There is a multiplier effect with infrastructure investment. For every dollar you spend, there is much greater economic return. It creates jobs that can’t be outsourced, rebuilds communities and lays the foundation for private sector investment.”
Following its passage Nov. 5, Higgins outlined highlights of the infrastructure bill that will benefit Western New York. New York is expected to receive $11.6 billion in federal highway aid and $1.9 billion in bridge repair funding through formula allocations alone. The state will also be eligible to apply for more in competitive grant funding. Another $2.6 billion will replace lead pipes to ensure clean drinking water for New Yorkers and $100 billion will expand broadband access across the state. New York airports will see an investment of $685 million and $9.8 billion will support public transportation improvements. New York residents will also receive $3.5 billion toward weatherization to reduce home energy costs and the state will see a minimum of $175 million for investments to expand electric vehicle charging stations.
In addition to delivering the New York Power Authority relicensing settlement, Higgins’ previous support for federal infrastructure funding has contributed to the transformation of Buffalo’s waterfront, including investments in Fuhrmann Boulevard and Ohio Street, the Cobblestone Streets at Canalside and various destination points along the Outer Harbor including Ship Canal Commons, Gallagher Beach pier, the Times Beach and Industrial Heritage nodes, as well as Tifft Street and Lake Kristy piers.
Pointing to failing grades on the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Higgins has repeatedly fought for greater infrastructure investment. He introduced his own infrastructure bill, the Nation Building Here at Home Act, to address crumbling roads and bridges; raised the importance of infrastructure investment during a meeting at the White House with former President Donald Trump; recently rallied with local workers; and has pressed for Congress to act on infrastructure during committee hearings and in remarks on the House floor.
Higgins said he looks forward to working with the Western New York community to see these federal resources invested locally. He pointed to the 100 miles of lead service pipes in Buffalo that need to be replaced, the broadband gaps exposed during the pandemic that can be closed, and noteworthy local projects such as The Riverline, waterfront parkways along Tifft and Louisiana streets, a redesign of Twin Cities Highway, transformation of the DL&W Terminal, subsequent phases of the Niagara Scenic Parkway downgrade, “Cars Sharing Main Street” and Niagara Street as just a few examples of local projects that could benefit from the federal infrastructure bill.