The landmark bipartisan infrastructure law is welcome news for all Floridians. Our Tampa Bay neighbors deserve modern and safe infrastructure, especially major investments in transit and clean water. Rebuilding our infrastructure is especially important to Florida, where 408 bridges and over 3,564 miles of highway are in poor condition.
Since 2011, commute times have increased by 11.6 percent in Florida and on average, each driver pays $425 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair. We are also long overdue for major, climate-forward investments in our public transit systems to ensure that all of our neighbors, no matter where they live in our community, are able to travel safely and efficiently. To protect what makes the Sunshine State special and grow good-paying jobs in Tampa, we are boosting investments that support our economy and build a more resilient community.
In the days ahead, I’ll be working to secure funding for top priorities in Tampa, including rebuilding the outdated control tower at Tampa International Airport and modernizing our local wastewater systems to keep Tampa Bay healthy and clean, and much more.
As a sign of things to come, I announced a major new infrastructure investment in the heart of Tampa separate and apart from the Infrastructure law. The Florida Department of Transportation received an $18M FY21 Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability & Equity (RAISE) grant from the Biden Administration for the Tampa Heights Mobility Corridor. This funding will assist the City of Tampa in its “complete streets” initiative, while leading to more jobs and boosting local businesses. You can read more about this grant here.
This is a pivotal moment – we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to Build Back Better in the wake of the Covid19 pandemic to create millions of good-paying jobs, build resilience across America and protect future generations from the growing costs and risks of the climate crisis.
The House moved to pass the Build Back Better Act (BBB) out of our chamber last week. Paired with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, BBB will address the needs of our hard working neighbors – access to quality, affordable health care and child care, good-paying jobs, clean air to breathe and clean water to drink, and affordable housing. This package is the boost we need to bolster our economy and lift our neighbors, and the benefits will be felt across the Tampa Bay area.