Texas stands to get more than $27 billion for roads, highways and bridges after President Joe Biden signed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill earlier this month.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg explained what the law means for Texas.
“Part of what you are going to see is an expansion of programs that already exist. Remember we have got dollars that we use to support, for example, road building in Texas every year. It’s just that there are going to be more of them,” he said.
The former Democratic presidential candidate and mayor of South Bend, Indiana emphasized the infrastructure bill is designed to make a long-term impact.
“This is not a short-term economic stimulus program. This is about making sure America is competitive for the rest of our lifetimes," Buttigieg said. "So some things are going to happen very quickly, you know road repairs, bridge fixes, that kind of thing. But if we are talking about a new airport terminal or the fundamental reconstruction of a port, you know those things by design may take a decade, and that’s OK."
In addition, the Department of Transportation recently announced additional grant funding to finish off the 50-mile loop of trails in Dallas. And the southern Dallas County Inland Port will get a new transit service, improvements in sidewalks and updated traffic signals.
“The loop project is exciting because of what it does for quality of life, helping people to get around. And you know these trails, more and more cities are putting forth visionary ideas about expanding those kinds of trails. We want to make sure we are supporting that because we think it's good policy. What is exciting about the Inland Port, that south Dallas project is it's connecting people to jobs,” Buttigieg said.
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This new funding comes as supply chain problems remain.
“We are going to continue to see a lot of concern on the supply chain for as long as the pandemic persists. It can poke holes in all of our goods and movement chains in anything from the availability to truckers right here in the U.S., to a factory closing halfway down around the world,” Buttigieg said.
“Some of the steps we have taken is to increase 24/7 operations in ports and other facilities that didn’t used to operate that way. We are also engaging the business community a lot. Like I said, these are mostly private sector activity, but we can help coordinate them,” Buttigieg added.
Buttigieg said the way to fix the supply chain long term is to beat the pandemic and invest in public infrastructure.