Senator Reverend Warnock Secures Major Investments, Provisions for Georgia in Landmark Jobs and Infrastructure Bill; Bipartisan Bill Passes Senate

Senator Warnock joined his colleagues in passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, 69-30
Senator Reverend Warnock: “This critical infrastructure package is as much a jobs bill, because Georgia and America need a home improvement project to keep our country and economy moving forward.”
Landmark package makes significant investments in public transportation, strengthening rural broadband, roads improvements, access to clean water in Georgia—and more
Legislation includes $5 billion program based on Senator Warnock’s Clean Commute for Kids Act, including $2.5 billion exclusively for electric school buses
Senator Warnock, along with Republican Senator Cruz, also led efforts to include provision in package to create new high-priority corridor in Georgia connecting several key base communities
Additionally, expansive bill includes funding secured by Senator Warnock for big multimodal projects like Georgia’s Midtown Connector Project, the Stitch in Atlanta, and the BeltLine, as well as resources to benefit inland ports across the state
Senator Reverend Warnock: “[W]e have a once in a generation opportunity to repair our nation’s aging infrastructure while addressing the worsening climate crisis and supporting job growth, including the clean energy jobs that will move Georgia into the future”

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) cheered the passage of several provisions he championed to create jobs, strengthen the economy and improve infrastructure across Georgia as the Senate voted 69-30 in favor of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, landmark legislation that will make strong federal investments to repair and revitalize Georgia’s roads, bridges, broadband, public transportation, rail, freight and water infrastructure, as well as help support and grow jobs in every corner of the state.

“This critical infrastructure package is as much a jobs bill, because Georgia and America need a home improvement project to keep our country and economy moving forward,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “Coming out of this pandemic, we have a once in a generation opportunity to repair our nation’s aging infrastructure while addressing the worsening climate crisis and supporting job growth, including the clean energy jobs that will move Georgia into the future. This legislation is vital to helping us build toward a future in Georgia that is both economically sustainable and ecologically sustainable, because I think that in a real sense you cannot have one without the other.”

Senator Warnock continued: “I’m proud we were able to get this done, and I look forward to continuing our work to strengthen the infrastructure of our communities and democracy before the Senate recesses for August.”

A vocal champion for creating good-paying jobs across Georgia and polices that keep Georgia’s businesses and economy competitive, Senator Warnock has long supported efforts to pass bipartisan infrastructure legislation, beginning with his work in the U.S. Senate Commerce, Transportation and Science Committee (Commerce committee) to secure strong freight and other infrastructure investments that will support Georgia jobs and help modernize the state’s infrastructure. The legislation includes several provisions led and supported by Senator Warnock, including policies and billions of dollars in investments to revitalize Georgia’s infrastructure—covering everything from roads and bridges, to ports and airports, to broadband and water and sewer infrastructure, electric vehicle charging infrastructure to electric school buses, and more.

See below a breakdown of major federal infrastructure investments coming to Georgia:

  • Public Transportation: Nearly $1.4 billion over the next five yearsto improve and expand public transportation across Georgia.
    • The Georgia Department of Transportation’s (GDOT) Statewide Transit Plan cites figures from the American Public Transit Association (APTA) which has calculated the potential economic impacts of investing in public transportation, finding “that for every $1 million invested generates $4 million in economic return, including 50 jobs and $3.1 million in increased local business sales.”
  • Roads: $8.9 billion in federal-aid highway formula funds to improve Georgia’s roads, pathways, and transportation network.
  • Bridges: $225 million to replace and improve Georgia’s bridges.
    • This funding could be used to address an estimated 80 percent of Georgia’s bridges that are considered in poor condition, including making improvements to some of Georgia’s oldest bridges long in need of repair—like the I-75 Bridge over Swamp Creek in Whitfield County (built in 1961), or the bridge over Ponce De Leon over Lullwater Creek in Dekalb County (built in 1924).
  • Broadband: At least $100 million to support broadband deployment and provide coverage across Georgia. Additionally, the legislation establishes the Affordability Connectivity Benefit that will help more than three million low-income Georgians afford internet access.
  • Airports: $619.5 million for airports across Georgia over the next five years, ensuring an estimated 90 Georgia airports will each get at least $550,000 for airport improvements.
  • Electric Vehicle Infrastructure: $135 million for Georgia to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure, helping support jobs in Georgia at companies like Kia and SK Innovation’s electric battery facility in Commerce.
  • Ports & Waterways: $16.6 billion for waterway and coastal infrastructure, including money for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects and the Port Infrastructure Development Program grants, benefiting Georgia’s deepwater ports in Savannah and Brunswick.
  •  Water Infrastructure: In Georgia and nationwide, $55 billion to improve water infrastructure, including $15 billion to replace lead pipes and service lines and over $23 billion to fund water and wastewater infrastructure improvements to protect public health and the environment.

In addition to helping pass surface transportation legislation that was included in the infrastructure package, Senator Warnock led efforts to secure several provisions in the bill that will directly benefit critical transportation and infrastructure priorities across Georgia.

See below more details on additional infrastructure and jobs investments, policies in the package for Georgia that were led and secured by Senator Warnock:

  • Reconnecting Communities: $1 billion total to help fund community-connecting transportation projects, like the Midtown Connector and the Stitch in Atlanta, or removal and redevelopment of the I-16 fly-over exit in Savannah.
  • Clean School Buses: $5 billion for low and no emission school buses, including at least $2.5 billion for electric school buses. These funds will be distributed through a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program based on Senator Warnock’s Clean Commute for Kids Act.
  • Capital Investment Grants: Senator Warnock secured key improvements to the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program, the key federal program for expanding public transportation service.
    • Thanks to changes to the program led by Senator Warnock, MARTA and other local transit providers will now be able to access the CIG program to expand high-quality service, including potentially helping fund expansion projects and priorities like Clayton County Bus Rapid Transit, GA 400 Bus Rapid Transit, Campbellton Road rapid transit line and multiple rapid transit projects along the BeltLine.
  • 1-14 Corridor: Senator Warnock passed a bipartisan amendment with Republican Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) to designate new sections of the planned 1-14 interstate from Texas through Georgia as a ‘high priority corridor. Notably, the amendment was approved by unanimous consent.
    • The designation will connect key emerging technology markets and base communities across Georgia—including Fort Benning, Robins Air Force Base, Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, and Fort Gordon—and promote the eventual extension of the federal interstate into the state.
  • Multimodal Funding: Senator Warnock also helped spearhead efforts to include $5 billion for the National Infrastructure Project Assistance grant program, a new multimodal mega project program that could potentially help fund large-scale infrastructure priorities like community-connecting transportation projects, big port and rail freight projects, or other transformative multimodal projects.
    • Senator Warnock also pushed for the inclusion of $7.5 billion for the popular RAISE grant program, which also funds multimodal transportation projects; there are nearly a dozen Georgia projects currently vying for funding through this program, including segments of the Atlanta BeltLine that Senator Warnock saw firsthand during a visit in June.
  • CRISI: $5 billion for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant program, which could help fund environmental impact studies to advance more passenger rail in Georgia, as well as improve the safety and efficiency of the more than 25 short line railroads in Georgia.
    • Senator Warnock championed this issue in the Commerce committee, and the final infrastructure package includes his provision to allow eligibility for locomotive overhauling and procurement that results in a significant reduction of emissions.
    • Importantly, GDOT’s SSTP/SWTP notes that “[t]he freight and logistics industry accounted for more than 181,000 jobs in 15,000 businesses statewide in 2018,” and in the same year, “[i]ncluding the multiplier impacts of the direct jobs, freight and logistics accounted for more than 362,000 jobs statewide (one in every 14 jobs) and $33.5 billion in gross domestic product.”
  • Rail Safety: $3 billion for a new highway-rail crossing grade separation program, which Senator Warnock fought for in the Commerce committee to include in the legislation. This program will improve safety, efficiency, and congestion for travelers and businesses moving goods on both roads and rails.
    • The package also includes Senator Warnock’s bipartisan RURAL Act, originally introduced with Republican Senator Mike Braun (R-IN),which also helps address the dangers of highway-rail at grade crossings.
  • Freight: $8 billion total for the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program, benefitting Georgia’s dominant freight and logistics industry.
    • Senator Warnock also successfully advocated to increase the cap on funding for multimodal projects, like the Georgia Ports Authority’s Northeast Georgia Inland Port project in Hall County, which was recently awarded a $47 million grant from the program and supported by Senator Warnock. This will allow Georgia to continue strengthening its multimodal freight network of roads, rail, and ports.
  • Transportation Technology: $500 million for the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Cities Challenge grant program, which helps fund cities’ efforts to integrate transformative transportation technology. Senator Warnock supported the inclusion of this program in the bill in the Commerce committee, which is based on the Moving First Act legislation he co-sponsored earlier this year.

For more information on investments for Georgia in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, visit HERE.