By STEVE BITTENBENDER
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) — Kentucky is in line to get nearly $900 million in federal transportation funds for the current fiscal year thanks to the infrastructure bill signed into law last month, and the state’s lone Democratic congressman said funding will be “transformative” for the state.
“Not just for our infrastructure and improving transportation safety, but in driving our economy and creating good jobs along the way,” U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, said in a press release.
Rep. Yarmuth was the only Kentucky lawmaker to vote for the bill in the House, with the state’s five Republican congressmen voting against the bill. In the Senate, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, was one of the 19 GOP members in that chamber to back the bill.
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced last week the state-by-state allocations for the 2022 fiscal year, which started on Oct. 1. The $880.2 million Kentucky will receive – out of $52.5 billion for all 50 states and the District of Columbia – includes more than $495.6 million in National Highway Performance Program Funds and $241 million in Surface Transportation Block Grant money.
The remaining $143.6 million will go to various programs, including funding for railway crossings, traffic congestion and highway safety improvement.
“Providing states with information on their apportioned funds today is an important first step in using the resources provided in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make transportation systems across the country safer and more resilient,” Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack said in a statement. “We look forward to working with transportation agencies and the communities they serve to use these resources to build a better America.”
In his press release, Rep. Yarmuth noted the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Kentucky a C-minus on its 2019 infrastructure report card and noted that the funding from the infrastructure bill will help the state make necessary repairs on highway and roadway projects. In addition, funding will also go to projects designed to make roads safer.
The $880.2 million is not the only money Kentucky is in line to get from the bill. The state is also going to receive $40 million for airport projects and $112 million for water line upgrades and improvements.
In addition, Rep. Yarmuth said the federal government plans to announce funding to fix up to 10 of the country’s “most economically significant bridges.” One of the projects that could receive funding from that is the Brent Spence Bridge, which connects Northern Kentucky to Cincinnati at the Ohio River.