U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) toured several roads and bridges impacted by flooding and sea-level rise in Delaware to highlight America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), a bipartisan, $287 billion surface transportation infrastructure bill aimed at addressing climate change.
The legislation, co-authored by Sen. Carper, is the first-ever title specifically aimed at addressing climate change. It seeks a 27-percent increase in overall federal funding levels, the most significant in history.
The funding would improve roads and bridges in the First State, and keep Delawareans moving forward in the 21st century economy, according to Sen. Carper, who stressed the threat climate change poses to Delaware and emphasized the need the need for the legislation.
“As the lowest lying state in the union, climate change poses profound threats to Delaware’s coastal way of life,” said Senator Carper. “And as many First State residents know all too well, our roads and bridges are often on the front lines of this crisis – restricting the flow of goods and services and putting motorists at risk.”
Senator Carper made several stops statewide at areas prone to flooding, including two stops in Sussex County – the Bridge on New Road in Lewes and a stretch of road on the banks of the Indian River Bay in Oak Orchard.
“The sites I visited today in all three counties are just a few examples of Delaware roadways that are too often inundated with water thanks to extreme weather events made worse by climate change,” Sen. Carper continued. “That’s why I fought hard to make sure this legislation included the first-ever climate title in a bill of its kind, looking towards the future by fortifying Delaware infrastructure for decades to come and reducing the emissions that fuel global warming.”
The bill creates innovative programs that boost electric vehicle and alternative fueling infrastructure, helps states cut emissions, and offers grants for localities to bolster roadways, according to Sen. Carper, who emphasized the infrastructure benefits of the bill.
“Beyond climate change, the bill does so much more to make the road and bridge upgrades needed to increase safety and help America compete in the 21st Century economy,” Carper concluded. “I’m excited to get back to Washington next month to keep pushing this bill towards the finish line.”
Overall, Senator Carper helped secure over a billion dollars in funding for surface infrastructure improvements in Delaware, including: $15.53 million to protect roads, highways and bridges from natural disasters and extreme weather events, $27.64 million to build more bike lanes and sidewalks, $11.85 million for projects lowering carbon emissions, and $67.14 million to improve safety and reduce fatalities.
ATIA invests nearly $5 billion over 5 years to improve the resiliency of roads and bridges from natural disasters and extreme weather events, which will continue to worsen with climate change. $3.93 billion will be distributed to states by formula and $1 billion is available in competitive grants.
The project also includes $3 billion over the next 5 years to be distributed to states and cities for projects dedicated to lowering carbon emissions.