Romney sees firsthand how funding from the bipartisan infrastructure bill is modernizing the state’s transit systems, upgrading roads, and repairing bridges
SALT LAKE CITY—Senator Romney this week continued to highlight how the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the bipartisan infrastructure bill he negotiated with colleagues, is benefitting Utah’s communities. He started the week by meeting with officials from along the Wasatch Front at Utah Transit Authority’s Salt Lake Central Station to discuss how infrastructure funds are being used to modernize TRAX, Frontrunner, and bus services. Senator Romney then joined officials in touring job sites along the I-80 corridor to see firsthand how local leaders are using infrastructure funds to upgrade Utah’s roads, highways, and bridges. He also visited Willow Green Circle Bridge over Little Cottonwood Creek, one of the 90 bridges identified in the state for replacement, rebuilding, and replacement using Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding, with Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) Executive Director Carlos Braceras.
Inspecting Willow Green Circle Bridge over Little Cottonwood Creek
“The infrastructure bill was negotiated by a group of…five Republicans and five Democrats, and I was one of those. And it’s not perfect…but if you want to get it passed, you have to find something that meets in the middle. And that’s what we were able to do…It got the infrastructure projects that are high priority put in place. And here in our state, we’re seeing bridges replaced, highways replaced. And actually, the idea that local bridges like this, which had not been qualified for these dollars in the past, are now able to be able to use this money so that we can improve the quality of life for these communities or maintain it is a good thing,” said Senator Romney.
“We just spent some time together…touring the I-80 project, which is really the largest project that we have invested the infrastructure money on in the state of Utah…and here we’re in a neighborhood at a fairly small bridge, [which] really speaks to the power of this infrastructure bill and how much of a difference it’s going to make for the state of Utah. [Previously], we haven’t been able to help out our local government partners and be able to help fund bridges such as the one that we’re standing by right now. This bridge needs to be replaced and we are able to with the infrastructure money. We get about $46 million every year on the five-year financing bill and to now program…a total of 90 bridges that we’ve programed. And so I want to thank Senator Romney for his help in passing the infrastructure bill and his help and working with us as we go to Washington and we say we need help with this project or that project. And he’s been tremendously helpful to help us get those projects done in the state of Utah,” said UDOT Director Braceras.
Visiting Job Sites Along the I-80 Corridor
“I come away as a citizen of our state, more appreciative of the people in our state that have expertise to actually build some of these structures, design them, engineer them, build them. I was out on I-80 and 215 looking at the bridge at 13th East—the bridge is basically square. It’s as wide as it is long, massively heavy. A hundred thousand vehicles a day go on that highway and the traffic is not been interrupted. They’re able to keep the traffic moving at the same time replacing the entire roadway and bridges. And there are workers there that are standing within four or five feet of these cars zooming by and they’re able to do their work and carry it out, allow us to move across the state in a way that’s not impeded by this construction and replace infrastructure that’s badly in need of replacing. We’re lucky to have expertise like we have at UDOT. What UDOT does getting projects done on time without impeding traffic and on budget, it’s the exception, not the rule. Mindful of fiscal responsibility, Utahns are wise stewards of federal funds. And we in our state ought to be very, very proud of the quality of the work and the capacity of the leadership and the workers that make this team so successful,” said Senator Romney.
Touring Utah Transit Authority’s Salt Lake Central Station
Senator Romney met with UDOT Director Braceras, Chair of the UTA Board of Trustees Carlton Christensen, and local officials from along the Wasatch Front at Utah Transit Authority’s Salt Lake Central station to see how infrastructure funds are helping to better connect Utah’s communicates by modernizing the TRAX and Frontrunner systems, and upgrading bus services.
Meeting with Holladay Mayor Dahle
Holladay, like many cities along the Wasatch Front, is a vibrant community that holds a storied history. Senator Romney met with Holladay Mayor Rob Dahle and the city council for an update on current and proposed infrastructure projects to support the city’s growth.
Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Highlights for Utah This Year:
- $24.5 million for the Utah Department of Transportation to fund pedestrian and bicycle improvements to 10 light rail stations and 13 bus stops along the Wasatch Front.
- $317 million to the State of Utah to help expand high-speed internet access to rural and underserved communities.
- $29 million to the Salt Lake City International Airport for a phased Terminal and North Concourse Redevelopment Program replacing aging and capacity constrained facilities.
- $7.4 million to Park City Transit to improve more than 72 bus stops, including rider amenities.
- $12 million to the State of Utah for clean water projects that will support Utah communities in upgrading essential water, wastewater, and storm water infrastructure that protects public health and bodies of water.
- $60 million to the Utah Transit Authority for its Light Rail Vehicle Replacement Project.
- Increased funding for the Uinta-Wasatch–Cache National Forest in Northern Utah and the Pine Valley area of the Dixie National Forest near St. George to build critical infrastructure and strengthen wildfire resilience to protect from catastrophic wildfire.
More details on how the bipartisan infrastructure bill is delivering for Utah can be found here.