President Joe Biden signed the $550 billion Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act of 2021 into law this week, a bill that will provide funding for infrastructure improvements across the country.
Rick Geddes is a professor and founding director of Cornell's Program in Infrastructure Policy, as well as a founding member of the Empire Infrastructure Council,a consortium of NYS universities working to address infrastructure needs throughout the state.
“The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act of 2021, signed into law on Nov. 15, is a win for New York. That is equally true of rural, upstate towns and cities as it is for aging infrastructure in New York City. The bill will provide a much-needed, massive infusion of cash into roads, bridges, and tunnels. It will improve the resilience of the electric grid and help deploy rural broadband will improve the connectivity and livability of Upstate communities.
“New York State should take maximum advantage of this opportunity to adopt better infrastructure policies. Those policies will ensure taxpayers get the maximum benefit from each dollar spent. Examples include environmental permitting reform, greater public-private cooperation, and more bundling of design and construction in with long-term operation and maintenance. Those changes will result in faster technological adoption, and better life-cycle maintenance of infrastructure assets.”