Infrastructure plan

Sen. Lisa Murkowski speaks about the deal reached with the White House for an infrastructure package. She was part of a core group of GOP senators who helped to negotiate the $579 billion plan.

 

 

Sen. Lisa Murkowski said that Alaska could receive more than $4 billion over the next five years to construct, rebuild and maintain its highway systems under a sweeping federal infrastructure package before Congress.

Alaska also is in line to receive $180 million for infrastructure relating to clean water and wastewater treatment, Murkowski told reporters at a press conference on Thursday.

“Keep in mind that these numbers, in terms of actual amounts, are still being identified and some of it will be hard to ascertain, because so much will come by way of grants,”

Murkowski said. 

“We have really focused on ensuring that those parts of the country that have been under-resourced and that have a higher need are really receiving a level of funding that is quite unprecedented,” she said.

Murkowski was part of a core group of lawmakers on Wednesday to announce a bipartisan infrastructure deal. The group has been working to advance legislation that focuses on what Murkowski described as “hard infrastructure,” including roads, bridges, rails, ports and water systems.

“Many are older and decaying and in some parts of the country like Alaska they do not even exist yet,” she said. “We were able to advance the measure [in the Senate] by way of a strong bipartisan vote.”

The Senate voted 67-32 Wednesday to start debate on the bill. The vote signals that the legislation is moving forward, though there are many votes ahead. The wide-ranging legislation would span PFAS chemical cleanups, broadband in unserved and underserved areas, harbor maintenance and construction, and essential ferry service, among other projects.

“The overall benefit to a state like Alaska is going to be considerable,” she said.

Murkowski added that the agreement among lawmakers was not only to “focus on good policy, but we wanted to make sure it was paid for in a responsible approach at every turn.”

Republicans and Democrats are working together to focus on infrastructure needs in the nation’s urban centers as well as in remote communities of Alaska and other rural states, she said.

“This is a bipartisan deal that is not just good for Republicans or Democrats but it is good for Americans,” she said. “It is historic. We have not seen this level of support and focus on infrastructure for our nation in decades.”

 

Contact Linda F. Hersey at 907-459-7575 or follow her at twitter.com/FDNMpolitics.