Money from federal infrastructure bill to pump money into GA roads and internet access

Infrastructure funding could begin going out within months, according to the White House. 

The $1.2 trillion bill was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Monday. 

Georgia is expected to get billions of dollars to go toward critical projects. 

 The state will get $8.9 billion dollars for federal highway programs, and an additional $225 million for bridge replacements and repairs. 

$1.4 billion will be pumped into improving public transportation. 

Money will also go toward internet infrastructure. 

White House data shows about 20 percent of Georgia households don’t have internet subscriptions or live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure. 

The state will get about $100 million to help make it easier for people to have access to high-speed and reliable internet. 

“This is groundbreaking because typically the focus was strictly on access but not so much usage. So one of the things the bill supports is digital inclusion. So all things, including having high-speed broadband internet that’s robust and affordable,” said Oneisha Freeman.

She is the director of partnerships and programs at an Atlanta-based non-profit called Inspiredu. 

The organization has worked to bridge the technological gap in our communities for more than a decade. 

It helps provide the devices and the internet service for children and adults. It also helps with tech support. 

Freeman said it’s more than just making sure everyone can get online, it’s about the impact it can have on the quality of life. 

“People can run their businesses. Mom and pop shops in our rural communities can advertise in their communities. Non-profits across our state can get their amazing resources to the people they’re trying to help. seniors can connect via telehealth, she said. 

Right now, Inspiredu and others rely on donations from the tech industry and foundations, and grants. 

But Freeman said it’s a tremendous problem that they can’t tackle on their own.. 

“I think the pandemic really showed us how wide the divide can get if we don’t take a national approach to addressing access and usage,” Freeman said. 

Georgia will also receive: 

  • $22 million to protect against wildfires
  • $24 million to protect against cyber attacks
  • $913 million to improve water infrastructure to ensure clean, safe drinking water
  • $619 million for infrastructure development airports
  • $135 million over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state

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