Will County area U.S. House members back infrastructure bill

Will County area members of the U.S. House of Representatives helped pass a $1.5 trillion infrastructure spending bill in the lower chamber last week.

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Western Springs, co-authored the Moving Forward Act, which the House passed June 1, according to a news release. The bill includes funding for several infrastructure projects in northeastern Illinois including upgrades to roads, transit, rail, broadband, schools, hospitals and more.

Lipinski said in the release that the legislation provides “historic investment” for the nation and region. Illinois will receive a 37% increase in funding for roads while CTA, Metra and Pace will see a 57% increase in funds.

The bill also makes commuter railroads such as Metra eligible for about $7 billion in infrastructure and safety improvement grants. It also allocates more than $28 billion in nationwide funding to repair and improve roads and bridges, including Interstates 55 and 80.

There would also be about $6.25 billion to upgrade bike and pedestrian infrastructure and other local projects, such as closing the gap along the Illinois & Michigan Canal trail.

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, also supported the bill and said it would create millions of jobs, combat climate change and address disparities across the state.

“The Moving Forward Act delivers historic, urgently-needed investments that reach beyond roads and bridges to equip our communities with 21st century infrastructure,” Underwood said in a statement. “I’m proud to support this legislation.”

Underwood highlighted the $130 billion in school infrastructure which is targeted toward schools with high levels of poverty. It also includes about $10 billion to invest in child care settings to make sure they comply with public health directives.

The bill would also provide more than $100 billion to create 1.8 million affordable homes throughout the country.

It would also invest about $25 billion to modernize the U.S. Postal Service’s infrastructure and operations.