On November 15th, 2021, President Biden signed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law.
Officially named the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, this bill contains a wide variety of measures intended to stimulate the economy, make improvements to the infrastructure system (think transportation systems, telecommunications networks, utilities, etc.), and provide a series of benefits intended to improve society at large in the United States.
This bill affords many provisions which can benefit the average American. Let’s break down which parts of this ambitious plan have the potential to help you as the initiatives begin to roll out over the course of the next five years.
Improvements To Roadways and Bridges
It is terrifying to watch the results of roadway and bridge collapses on TV, and that pales in comparison to personally suffering the consequences of aging infrastructures.
Biden is budgeting an estimated $110 billion dollars to improve major roadways and bridges that are wearing down or in poor condition.
The added safety benefits are pretty obvious, but improved roads reduce wear on your vehicle and tires as well and reduce the chances that you may face an accident due to unsafe road conditions or dangerous bridges.
It also allows you to enjoy a smooth and relatively uneventful ride, which also works for trucks providing products that you need everyday, ensuring they reach their intended destinations in time so that there are no shortages caused by delays.
Public Transit Renovations
$105 billion dollars are being used to replace and update modes of public transportation, which includes passenger railways. There are many advantages to these upgrades, both for those who frequent public transportation and those who do not.
First of all, if you wish to use public transportation, upgraded and new vehicles provide a more enjoyable experience while also benefiting the environment. These new modes are intended to be eco-friendly to help combat climate change and generally promote healthier living.
Public transportation saves a lot on fuel consumption, so not only can you save money by using them, but the more people that do so expend less energy resources and fossil fuels.
The more people that make use of public transportation means that there are less people on the roads, so this can benefit everyone else by providing less traffic and faster travel times due to reduced congestion.
Further funds ($42 billion) will go toward airports, waterways, and boat ports to improve these facilities, decrease congestion, and reduce harmful environmental emissions.
Power Grid Updates
Our power grid is aging and in dire need of a modern update. With over $65 billion dollars being used to find this type of upgrade, you can see benefits by reduced storm outages and due to better efficiency, lower energy bills.
You will also have better access to your own utility data as these networks improve and more protection as utility networks will have better security, providing you more knowledge and control over your own situation while keeping that information safeguarded.
High-Speed Internet Enhancements
This feature has potential to greatly benefit nearly everyone. An allotted $65 billion dollars will go toward improving internet access and making it more accessible to everybody.
This money is intended to improve internet coverage by further extending the networks into rural areas as well as providing a federal discount for low-income families to make internet services more affordable.
Areas with no internet access will gain a major advantage from this bill as will those who are only offered low-speed internet, as a major bulk of the funds are intended to not only create internet where there is none, but upgrade the speeds where functionality is limited.
Furthermore, many internet companies will be required to offer a low-cost option to help economically struggling families.
Regulations on how internet services may price and describe the details of their service packages are going into place, which will improve prices and the ability to determine exactly how fees are determined for your service and what they are while requiring a uniform label that makes it easy to compare and contrast different internet providers and service packages.
This will cut down on the amount of unexpected fees and confusing costs associated with these plans that often come as a surprise.
Water Related Benefits
An additional $55 billion goes toward cleaning pipes with chemical contamination and replacing lead pipes to ensure that schools and communities receive clean, healthy water.
The advantage of drinking water without getting poisoned seems to speak for itself.
Also, more than $50 billion more will go toward protections against floods and droughts within communities that are most likely to suffer from these natural phenomenons. This means added safety in the form of protection and water availability in worst-case scenarios.
Unsafe and aesthetically displeasing environments are slated to be cleaned up and secured to prevent dangers stemming from places such as abandoned mine sites and contaminated areas.
$21 billion dollars will be used to make sure that there is less risk associated with these sites and they can be cleaned and potentially reused for new purposes.
Everyone benefits from better safety measures and less contamination and what’s better for the environment is usually better for humans, too.
Electrical Vehicle Adaptations
Many auto manufacturers are focusing on electric vehicles as a way to help reduce environmental damage, and this package is intended to make it easier for consumers who either have electric vehicles or intend to purchase one to make use of them.
$7.5 billion dollars will go to adding EV charging stations so that you have more options to refuel, while an additional $5 billion is intended to purchase electric buses nationwide for schools and public transportation.
Once more, the environment is getting some love, but you also benefit by having more options for modern transportation and more convenience when trying to refuel your electric vehicle.
It will take time for these programs to fall into place and for the benefits to trickle down to the average American, but those benefits are there and will improve society and the way we live.
Whether it is due to environmental improvements, convenience, better pricing, wide availability of life necessities, or some other benefit, everyone stands to benefit in some way from the infrastructure bill and it is intended to make a positive difference for living in the United States.
Some argue that this will raise our national debt and drive up inflation, but overall don’t you think America needs these investments to stay globally competitive and productive? Have your say in the comments below.