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Idaho slated to receive billions from infrastructure bill for roads, broadband, wildfires

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Idaho is in line to get several billion dollars in infrastructure spending. The money from the bill approved by Congress last week will help pay for road and public transportation updates, as well as wildfire and broadband spending.

According toestimatesreleased by the White House, Idaho has 286 bridges and about 1,200 miles of highway in poor condition. As a result, the state will be eligible for around $2 billion for road repair and construction and about $225 million for bridges.

The state is also slated to receive tens of millions to replace aging transit vehicles and to add electric charging stations. Around 33% of the state's public transit vehicles and trains are past their useful life.

The White House says at least 53,000 Idaho residents currently lack high speed internet. A minimum of $100 million-dollars will be sent to address that gap, as well as low-income family internet access issues.

Idaho is also slated to receive hundreds of millions more for water infrastructure, airports, wildfire prevention and cyber security. 

Both of Idaho’s US senators voted in favor of the spending package. Its two US House members did not.

Senator Mike Crapo has saidthe bill would allow Idaho to keep up with its rapid growth, and it is not anticipated to increase taxes.

President Joe Biden is scheduled to sign the bill on Monday.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.
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