California Creates 17,000 Infrastructure Jobs with Support from the Biden Administration

SACRAMENTO – One year ago landmark federal legislation ushered in a new era of infrastructure investment, sending billions of dollars to California and putting thousands to work making transformative upgrades to improve the sustainability and resiliency of the state’s energy, water, broadband and transportation systems.

“We are rebuilding California and creating thousands of good-paying jobs in the process. This goes far beyond roads and bridges – this is about investing in our communities and our families, giving opportunity to hard-working Californians and ensuring we stay on the cutting edge,” said Governor Gavin Newsom.

President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – on November 15, 2021, sending California more than $16.3 billion in federal infrastructure funding. That includes $14 billion to upgrade the state’s roads, bridges, rail, public transit, airports, electric vehicle charging network, ports and waterways.

The influx of federal funding is on top of the unprecedented $47 billion multiyear infrastructure package in California’s state budget to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles, promote energy innovation and reliability, improve access to broadband connectivity, reduce wildfire risk to communities, and support drought resiliency and response. These record levels of state and federal funding investments have already created more than 17,000 jobs.

The state budget package includes $15 billion for transportation improvements that leverage the federal funds with record state investments in transit and intercity rail projects, safe walking and biking options, and upgrades to the state’s economy-powering supply chain.

“This represents California’s greatest opportunity to accelerate our transition to a cleaner, safer, more connected and more equitable transportation system,” said California State Transportation Agency Secretary Toks Omishakin. “Thanks to Governor Gavin Newsom, President Biden and our state legislative and congressional delegations, we are in an unparalleled position to maximize these historic state and federal infrastructure investments to improve mobility options for every Californian.”

Based on guaranteed formula funding alone, California expects to receive nearly $42 billion for transportation infrastructure over the five years of the federal infrastructure law – with the opportunity for billions more through competitive grants. In the past year, California received $1.27 billion in federal grants for 219 transportation-related projects directly benefiting 46 counties and seven tribes. Among the notable grant awards:

  • $150 million for the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project at the San Diego-Tijuana border.
  • $104.1 million for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) to purchase as many as 160 new battery-electric buses and charging equipment.
  • $36.6 million for the Port of Oakland to construct a 25-acre off-dock container support facility with battery storage and charging stations.
  • $25 million for the California High-Speed Rail Authority to advance the project beyond the 119 miles under construction and into downtown Merced.
  • $20 million for the Port of Los Angeles to construct a rail-roadway grade separation that will eliminate a significant truck access impediment to an important container terminal support facility located on Terminal Island, at the center of Port of Los Angeles-Long Beach complex.

In addition, the Hoopa Valley Tribal Council and Yurok Telecommunications Corp. received a total of $126.8 million for high-speed internet infrastructure deployment projects through the infrastructure law’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program.

More federal grant funding will become available in the coming months, including the first awards for the Reconnecting Communities pilot program, which will provide $1 billion over five years for neighborhoods that were previously cut off from economic opportunities by transportation infrastructure. In a sign of the unique federal-state policy alignment and investment priorities, California’s transportation infrastructure package includes $150 million for a parallel Highways to Boulevards pilot to augment the federal program.

To provide Californians with the latest news and information on state and federal infrastructure investments, Caltrans expanded – the website tracking the progress of Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 – to contain data on the increased federal funding. Website visitors can learn more about the different federal infrastructure programs, track the amount of funding California is receiving and find projects on an updated interactive map.