Infrastructure bill will enhance region’s freight network

Infrastructure bill will enhance region’s freight network
December 23, 2021 Jared Haynes
Headshot of Mary Lamie, xecutive Vice President of Multi Modal Enterprises for Bi-State Development and head of the St. Louis Regional Freightway.

Bi-State Development EVP of Multi Modal Enterprises Mary Lamie’s commentary originally ran in the Edwardsville Intelligencer on December 21, 2001

The new federal infrastructure bill recently signed into law paves the way for historic investment in our nation’s core infrastructure priorities – including roads and bridges, rail, transit, ports, airports, as well as the electric grid, water systems and broadband. The St. Louis Regional Freightway is especially encouraged to see the bill includes more than $110 billion dedicated for roads, bridges and other major projects. The funding allocated for bridges alone represents the largest investment in bridges since the beginning of the interstate highway system. An additional $16.6 billion will support improvements in our nation’s ports and waterways, while $25 billion will be directed toward airports.

The funds being committed to these critical components of our nation’s freight network are impressive, but we’re also excited to see the process through which some of these monies will be allocated. That process includes dozens of competitive grant programs, many of them new, which is good for the St. Louis region given our proven success competing for such grants in the past. Our approach to developing and advocating for funding for our Priority Projects is a nationally recognized model being used by the U.S. Department of Transportation. It played a role in helping to secure a $21.5 million federal grant for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Merchants Bridge, the region’s highest priority infrastructure project, which is on target to be completed by early 2023.

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