Granite Staters know that an investment in roads, bridges, and high-speed Internet access is a direct investment in our families and our economy. And this week, we took a major step forward in doing exactly that by passing a once-in-a-generation infrastructure package. It’s the type of investment in America’s future that doesn’t happen often, one that will rebuild our state and our country as a whole.
Each day, Granite Staters feel the impact of crumbling and out-of-date infrastructure. This summer, I visited the Bunker Creek Bridge Replacement Project in Durham, where I spoke with transportation leaders about the more than 300 bridges in need of repair across our state. And some reports estimate that just 47 percent of New Hampshire’s roads are considered to be in good condition. Railroads in our state and region are leagues behind their European counterparts and too many communities, particularly in our rural areas, lack access to high-speed internet.
The bill the Senate passed this week will create jobs, grow our economy, and restore our country’s infrastructure to what it once was: a testament to the spirit of American innovation and our country’s economic vitality. Our open roads weren’t always riddled with potholes or congestion, they were a symbol of the promise of America and what we as a nation could do for our citizens and the world.
As Republicans and Democrats negotiated this legislation, I brought a Granite State lens to the table, and worked to include key priorities that people in New Hampshire have been raising for years.
To start, this bipartisan legislation makes a record-level $110 billion investment to fix roads, bridges and highways, as well as to improve road safety. Critically, it makes the single largest dedicated investment in improving bridges since the construction of the interstate highway system — which will be essential in helping address the hundreds of bridges in need of repair in New Hampshire.
In addition to our roads and bridges, the bipartisan infrastructure package recognizes the importance of passenger rail. Passenger rail has significant potential in New Hampshire — supporting our workforce by expanding options for commuters, while also growing our economy and helping our towns thrive by giving people more opportunities to visit our beautiful state. The bill includes $66 billion for passenger and freight rail, and it includes legislation and provisions that could be used to help develop the Capitol Corridor, which would connect Nashua, Manchester and Concord to Boston by rail.
This package also recognizes that the need to improve infrastructure goes well beyond transportation infrastructure. High-speed Internet is the definition of modern infrastructure, connecting people to work, school, health services, loved ones, and more. For years, business leaders have shared with me the importance of high-speed Internet to maintaining and growing their businesses. And just this summer, the owners of Twin Barns Brewing in Meredith drove this point home when they stressed to me that expanding high-speed Internet would help attract new families and workers to the region, and in turn grow both their business and workforce.
In order to help small businesses like Twin Barns Brewing and all our communities across New Hampshire, this bill includes a historic investment of $42.45 billion for the deployment of high-speed Internet to every home in America, including a minimum of $100 million for New Hampshire.
To further support Granite Staters and our economy, the bill includes key provisions that I helped secure to support coastal resilience, invest in clean energy and strengthen cybersecurity. It also works to ensure that New Hampshire’s towns have clean drinking water, including my amendment to help get our towns new technology to remove PFAS chemicals, and significant funding to improve our state’s dams and waterways.
I was glad to work with members of both parties to help shape this bill based on the needs of and feedback from Granite Staters. I believe that infrastructure is a platform, the foundation on which individuals build their lives and chart their own success. This bill is born of that belief and is a powerful reminder that we can continue to deliver on what the American people need by working together to find common ground.