Summer is here, which also often means construction season is here too. Look no further than the bridge project on 2nd Avenue in Kearney as evidence that summer has undoubtedly arrived. This bridge project is just one example of many infrastructure projects across Nebraska made possible by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which has allocated $3 billion in funding for our state.
The positive impact of the federal infrastructure law is slowly being seen in our local communities. In fact, over the next five years, Nebraska will receive $2.2 billion to revamp our highways and bridges (check out page 24 of this link for distributions), while the repair, replacement, and rehabilitation of our bridges specifically will receive $225 million in federal funding. Also important to note is the nearly $1 million investment towards improving Kearney Regional Airport’s facilities.
However, infrastructure is not simply roads, bridges, and airports – it also includes broadband and water. Nebraska will receive $100 million to expand and upgrade our high-speed internet capabilities as well as $358 million to improve water infrastructure. These funds ensure our rural communities have reliable internet access to keep their businesses running smoothly as well as secure safe agricultural use of water for our farmers and ranchers in addition to the general safety and quality of water for regular consumption.
The federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a significant legislative accomplishment that will have long-lasting, beneficial effects on our local economy. Though construction projects like the one on 2nd Avenue may lengthen our commute time or disrupt our travel routes, the finished product will certainly pay dividends in the long run.