JACKSON, Miss. (Mississippi Today) – After months of negotiations, Congress passed the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package in early November, sending about $4.46 billion to Mississippi over the next five years.
The infrastructure deal garnered bipartisan support, even among the Mississippi delegation. Republican Sen. Roger Wicker and Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson voted to pass the bill, while Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Republican Reps. Trent Kelly, Michael Guest and Steven Palazzo voted against it.
The White House released a preliminary breakdown of where that money will flow to Mississippi. These estimates are based on allocation of funds in previous bills, meaning the formulas for the current bill could change based certain factors like the state’s population changes and energy consumption.
It is still unclear which state or local entities will get to spend this money. Much of the federal money will be given to the state through grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation, but how states spend these pots of money can differ based on the specific money.
Mississippi Today is comprehensively tracking the historic amount of federal funding coming to the state, and we will diligently update this coverage to clearly show which officials and governmental entities will be responsible for its spending. Click here to read that coverage, and check back for regular updates.
Below is a breakdown of what Mississippi will receive based on the White House estimates.
Roads and bridges: $3.3 billion
Mississippi will receive about $3.3 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act over five years. This money can be spent, among other things, on replacement and repairs for both federal and state highways in Mississippi.
Mississippi can also compete for the $12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program for economically significant bridges and nearly $16 billion of national funding in the bill dedicated for major projects.
Water lines and pipes: $429 million
Mississippi will receive about $429 million over five years to improve water infrastructure across the state. This money is expected to be divvied up by state lawmakers to municipalities and counties across Mississippi.
Public transportation: $223 million
Mississippi will receive about $223 million over five years under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to improve public transportation options across the state.
High-speed internet: $100 million
Mississippi will receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, including providing access to the at least 531,000 Mississippians who currently lack it.
About 1,181,000 Mississippians, or 41% of residents in the state, will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access. This is a subsidy program that provides eligible households with a monthly broadband service discount of $50 — or $75 on tribal lands — and reimbursement for connected devices of up to $100 per household.
Airports: $99 million
This pot of money is for maintenance and upgrades at existing airports. “The United States built modern aviation, but our airports lag far behind our competitors,” the White House said.
Some leaders in other states have suggested spending this money on gate and terminal repairs. The White House, in its breakdown, said the funds could “address repair and maintenance backlogs, reduce congestion and emissions near ports and airports, and drive electrification and other low-carbon technologies.”
Electric vehicle chargers: $51 million
Mississippi would expect to receive $51 million over five years to support the expansion of an electric vehicle charging network in the state. As federal leaders and the automobile industry move toward fully-electric fleets, this infrastructure is a critical need in Mississippi.
Mississippi will also have the opportunity to apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to electric vehicle charging in the bill.
Protection against climate change, cyberattacks: $35 million
Mississippi will receive about $19 million over five years to protect against wildfires, and about $16 million to protect against cyberattacks.
Mississippians will also benefit from the bill’s $3.5 billion national investment in weatherization, which stands to reduce energy costs for families.