DENVER (KDVR) — Late Friday night, the House approved a long-anticipated infrastructure bill, paving the way for more than $1 trillion in improvements nationwide.
The House passed the measure 228-206, with 13 Republicans supporting the measure and six Democrats voting against it.
But what exactly does it mean for Colorado?
“Really state-wide, it’s going to have a huge impact,” says Tony Milo.
Milo is the executive director for the Colorado Contractor’s Association, which represents thousands of Colorado construction workers.
“We’ve been under-investing in our country’s infrastructure for years,” he said. “This is going to mean a real boost for the country and an important boost for Colorado.”
Based on funding formulas, Colorado Democrats say the state is projected to receive the following from the bill:
- $3.7 billion to improve highways and $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs over five years.
- $916 million over five years to improve public transportation options across the state.
- A minimum of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across Colorado, including providing access to the at least 85,000 Coloradans who currently lack it.
- $688 million over five years to improve water infrastructure across the state and ensure that clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities.
- $35 million over five years to protect against wildfires.
- $57 million over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state. We in Colorado will also have the opportunity to apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging in the bill.
- $16 million to protect against cyberattacks.
- $432 million over five years to improve Colorado airports.
The Colorado Contractor’s Association estimates it will result in roughly a 30% increase to infrastructure improvements statewide.
Sen. John Hickenlooper, who negotiated the initial bill as part of a bipartisan group of 22 senators, says he woke up to the news Saturday.
“To see finally we got it done, it’s very exciting, very gratifying,” he said. “It’s the largest investment in our future since the Great Depression.”
Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, who voted against the bill, called it “wasteful” in a tweet early Saturday, lashing out at the 13 Republicans who voted in favor of it:
“RINOS just passed this wasteful $1.2 trillion dollar “infrastructure” bill,” wrote Boebert. “Pelosi did not have the votes in her party to pass this garbage. Time to name names and hold these fake republicans accountable.”
Others, like Milo, say regardless of political status, the improvements are much needed in Colorado.
“All Coloradans, whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, or unaffiliated, you’re going to benefit from this,” said Milo. “This really is a great day for Colorado.”