DeFazio: Oregon wins bipartisan infrastructure package | Local News

Congressman Peter DeFazio applauded the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure package – and the tens of millions of dollars going to Oregon – but said the job was not done on Capitol Hill.

At a press briefing on Friday, DeFazio said the infrastructure package adopted last week would make a big difference in Oregon, but added that the currently envisioned Build Back Better package is just as important to the Oregon. future of the state and the nation.

“We finally passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill,” DeFazio said. “A lot of people don’t even understand what this bill means. The comprehensive bill is the biggest investment in transportation infrastructure since the road infrastructure was built. It will address the issues I’ve been talking about forever. . “

In Coos Bay, the bill will allow repairs to the north jetty of the Coos Bay port and will also provide funds for repairs to the former Georgia Pacific plant site to allow for the construction of a facility for sea ​​containers.

While there is a lot to cheer on, DeFazio said this was just the start of what’s needed.

“This is not the end of the story,” he said. “We are now working on the President’s Build Back Better project. “

DeFazio said the infrastructure bill would make a big difference in Oregon.

“Over the life of the bill, we will get $ 3.4 billion for highways and $ 268 million for bridges and bridge repairs.”

There will also be $ 750 million for public transportation programs in Oregon.

“It will benefit small towns and rural areas,” DeFazio said. “We need to think of more innovative ways to move people. “

An additional $ 529 million will be allocated to the State’s water infrastructure.

“We have huge needs in Oregon for wastewater and potable water,” DeFazio said. “I called counties a few months ago, and most of the counties in my district are red, run by Republicans. Their # 1 need was water and sewage, followed by roads and bridges. “

An additional $ 100 million will be available to expand broadband in the state, with $ 52 million for electric vehicle charging stations.

DeFazio said the bill doesn’t include funding to pay for the entire package, but that’s fine with him.

“I am not reluctant to borrow money to invest in infrastructure,” he said. “It’s an investment. It’s not just about spending money.”

With the bill approved by Congress, DeFazio said the state can start moving forward with projects that have been on hold for some time.

“Oregon knows they are getting $ 3.4 billion for highways,” he said. “Some of the projects are on the books. I think we’ll see a lot of action during the construction season next year.”

Another key aspect for the Oregon coast is funding the dredging of all ports in the state. This will include Coos Bay, Gold Beach and Brookings.

“I think you’re going to see a lot of activity in a lot of industries,” DeFazio said. “There is definitely a sense of urgency. Oregon knows what it’s going to get, and now they can go ahead and schedule their contracts.”

The next step, according to DeFazio, is Build Back Better, which includes the items he wanted in the infrastructure package that have been removed.

“Hopefully next week we’ll take Build Back Better out of the house,” DeFazio said. “Now the Senate is a whole different matter. It’s going to be a long task there. “

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