Biden administration grants $830 million to improve climate-resilience of nation’s aging infrastructure

DETROIT (AP) — The Biden administration on Thursday awarded $830 million in grants to fund 80 projects aimed at toughening the nation’s aging infrastructure against the harmful impacts of climate change.

The money is expected to improve stormwater systems, bridges, roads, ports, rail, transit and other infrastructure across 37 states, Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands, particularly those battered by increasingly frequent extreme weather events brought on by the planet’s warming.

The funds come from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed in 2021 and add to other funding already flowing to states for similar projects, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Notably, Kalamazoo, Michigan will receive nearly $38 million to upgrade stormwater infrastructure.

Other funding recipients include:

  • Golden, Colorado will receive $23.8 million to control flooding in Lena Gulch.
  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa will receive $56.4 million to replace the 86-year-old Arc of Justice Bridge, crucial for emergency services in times of extreme flooding.
  • The Rhode Island Department of Transportation will receive $750,000 for a coastal management plan.
  • The Oglala Sioux Tribe will receive $248,000 for a risk assessment of its transportation infrastructure.

The grants each take one of four forms.

Planning grants totaling $45 million will be issued for 26 projects. Resilience improvement funds, totaling $621 million, will be granted to 36 recipients for enhancing projects such as drainage, roadways and other upgrades. Ten projects will receive a total of $45 million in community resilience and evacuation grants, and eight projects will share $119 million in coastal infrastructure funding.

It’s the latest of many federal efforts to address the effects of climate change. President Joe Biden has earmarked more than $50 billion toward climate-related projects through the infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act. He has emphasized the importance of climate resilience and adaptation as he seeks a second term.

 “America’s infrastructure was not built for the climate that we have today, and the consequences of this are very real and being felt by people in every part of the country,” Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said in a call with reporters ahead of the announcement.

He cited events such as the California wildfires and flooding in New York City. Incidents such as this are worsening, as is global heat; March set a new monthly record for the 10th consecutive month.

“Not only is this timely, not only is this responsive to science, not only is this critical, to the communities that will benefit, it’s a very high return on investment for public dollars,” National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi said.


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