Hickenlooper presser

Sen. John Hickenlooper jokes around with fellow speakers at a press conference on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, behind the Edgewater Library in Edgewater, Colo about an infrastructure bill that Hickenlooper helped to pass in the U.S. Senate. (Timothy Hurst/The Gazette)

Colorado stands to reap billions of dollars from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act over the next five years to invest in roads, bridges, airports, public transportation, water systems, the electric grid, high-speed internet and more, according to estimates prepared by the White House, congressional offices and state agencies.

Supporters have compared the $1.1 trillion bill, signed into law by President Joe Biden on Nov. 15, to legislation authorizing the interstate highway system in the 1950s and federally funded public works projects that helped pull the country out of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

"This is big," said U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, a moderate Democrat who helped author the package, during an online town hall on Nov. 17. "It's the biggest infrastructure investment since the New Deal. It's by far the biggest climate change bill, ever."

In addition to traditional infrastructure — roads, bridges and other projects involving construction workers — the bill includes funding to help strengthen communities in the face of wildfires, floods, droughts and other effects of climate change, as well as funding to build an electric vehicle charging station network and billions to clean up Superfund sites and cap abandoned oil and gas wells.

According to estimates, Colorado will get at least $6 billion and could be eligible for far more, depending on agency funding formulas and competitive programs for some projects. Figures cited are funding over the next five years.

• $3.7 billion for highway projects

• $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs 

•  $916 million for public transit

• $100 million at least to build out broadband internet across the state

• $688 million on water systems, including replacing lead pipes

• $35 million to protect against wildfires

• $16 million to harden networks against cyberattacks

• $56 million to expand the state's network of elective vehicle charging stations

• $432 million to improve airports

• $167 million toward replacing the U.S. Geological Survey headquarters

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