How will Infrastructure Bill funding be used by the Utah Department of Transportation?
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill was passed earlier this month, allocating large amounts of money for public works projects across the country.
A large part of the infrastructure bill is focused on rebuilding roads, bridges and railways across the US. Based on the funding formula, Utah is set to receive $2.4 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs, with another $225 billion for repairing and replacing bridges over the next five years.
This funding will be distributed from the federal government to the Utah Department of Transportation, also known as UDOT. John Gleason is the Public Information Officer for UDOT, and he said this funding will be used to help maintain Utah roadways,
“We use the federal dollars for rehabilitation [and] preservation projects," said Gleason. "Those projects that keep our roads in good shape and allow people to get to where they're going safely.”
Gleason said a key advantage of funding from this bill is that it is set for the next five years,
“So with the approval of the infrastructure bill is great news for for Utah, because it means a consistent funding source, that we don't have to worry about where that funding is going to come from, it makes up about 20% of our budget it's an important part of our of our overall budget to to handle the roads,” said Gleason.
All states handle funding of transportation infrastructure differently. Gleason explained that in Utah, large scale projects like construction on I-80 and 215, are funded by the state,
“Most of the big capacity projects that you hear about, are state funded," Gleason said. "And we take a lot of pride in the fact that a lot of those big freeway projects that we talked quite a bit about are all funded with state dollars”
Given how recently this funding was approved, UDOT is still working out the specifics of how it will be spent,
“I think it's accurate to say that we're waiting to see how so much of this is going to unfold and how we can best utilize the money here, but it's, you know, this is money that's programmed. And so this is a continuation of the program that we've seen here and that we anticipate every year”, said Gleason.