Infrastructure Bill Brings Funding for Airports, Roads, Broadband

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Accomack County Airport in Melra. Photo by Carol Vaughn.

By Carol Vaughn —

Two airports in Accomack County will receive hundreds of thousands of dollars as result of the infrastructure legislation Congress passed in November.
Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced last week that Virginia airports are expected to receive $399,740,660 in federal funds over the next five years as a result of the legislation.
They made the announcement on Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day, the busiest air travel day of the year.
The Accomack County Airport in Melfa is slated to receive $790,000 and the Tangier Airport is to receive $550,000, according to the announcement.
The funding for Virginia airports also includes more than $120 million for Washington Dulles International Airport, nearly $117 million for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, $35.6 million for Richmond International Airport, and $33 million for Norfolk International Airport, among others.
The funds are to be used for airport improvement programs at the facilities.
Accomack County Administrator Mike Mason said the county has not yet received any information as to what airport improvement projects the funds are intended to pay for.
The Tangier Airport falls under the purview of the town of Tangier, not the county, he said.
The funding represents Virginia’s share of $15 billion in direct grants to airports expected around the country as a result of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The act is a comprehensive infrastructure package that includes funding to maintain roads, bridges, rail systems, and other critical infrastructure across the United States.
“It’s with great pride that we applaud President Biden’s signing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act — a historic law that will bring critically-overdue funding into our communities and create a new generation of good-paying American jobs.
“The investments made possible by this law will bring Virginia’s infrastructure into the twenty-first century by fixing crumbling roadways, bolstering public transit systems, bridging the broadband gap, and strengthening our coastal resiliency. As former governors of Virginia, we know that getting a bill signed into law is only the beginning, and we’ll be working with folks on the ground to ensure this bill is implemented quickly and efficiently,” the senators said in a joint release after the bill was signed into law.
The act includes $25 billion to improve the nation’s airports; $16.6 billion for port infrastructure; $9.55 billion for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers infrastructure such as harbor dredging, coastal resiliency, and repairing damage to Corps projects caused by natural disasters; $65 billion for broadband; $47 billion for climate resilience measures; $7.5 billion to build electric vehicle charging stations; $2.5 billion for electric school buses; $66 billion for railroads; and $110 billion to repair and rebuild roads and bridges.
The roadway funding includes $7 billion for Virginia highways and $537 million for bridge replacement in Virginia. There are 577 bridges and more than 2,124 miles of highway in poor condition in Virginia, according to the release.
Virginia will receive at least $100 million over the next five years to expand broadband.

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