Napolitano Secures Nearly $20 Million for 32nd District Transportation & Infrastructure Projects, $38 Billion for California with House Passage of INVEST in America Act
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-El Monte) voted for H.R. 3684, the “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act, securing $19.975 million for nine of the Member Designated Projects she submitted to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
"I am very proud that nearly $20 million in federal funding and other critical priorities I submitted on behalf of my constituents, commuters, and transit agencies are included in the INVEST in America Act which passed the House today," Napolitano said. "From increasing safety on our highways, bridges, buses and rails, to modernizing vital wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, this bill will create good-paying jobs while supporting American manufacturing, restoring our global competitiveness, and safeguarding our environment. As the highest-ranking Californian on the Committee, I am also proud that this bill will provide $38 billion in transportation funding for California, including $27 billion for highway projects and $11 billion for transit. This new funding will go a long way toward putting people back to work, revitalizing our local economies, and improving the everyday lives of residents across the San Gabriel Valley and our entire state. It is time to build the infrastructure of the future and build back better."
The INVEST in America Act, which passed this House earlier today by a vote of 221 to 201, is a $715 billion surface transportation reauthorization and water infrastructure bill that will create good-paying jobs to rebuild and re-imagine America’s surface transportation infrastructure, with investments in roads, bridges, transit, rail, and drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. This package helps meet President Biden's vision—as laid out in the American Jobs Plan—by investing in American workers and communities of all sizes, while tackling the climate crisis head-on.
Projects championed by Napolitano include:
Project Name: Parkway Drive and Merced Street Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements
Project Location: El Monte
Amount Awarded: $2,600,000
Project Name: Francisquito Avenue Metrolink Rail crossing improvements
Project Location: Baldwin Park
Amount Awarded: $2,300,000
Project Name: Donald & Bernice Watson Multi-Use Pathway Improvement Project
Project Location: Duarte
Amount Awarded: $1,225,000
Project Name: Arrow Highway Raised Median Installation Project
Project Location: Azusa
Amount Awarded: $3,000,000
Project Name: Bicycle and Pedestrian Project on Puddingstone Drive
Project Location: La Verne
Amount Awarded: $998,000
Project Name: Arrow Highway road and sidewalk reconstruction
Project Location: San Dimas
Amount Awarded: $1,600,000
Project Name: Amar Road in Unincorporated West Puente Valley
Project Location: Unincorporated L.A. County
Amount Awarded: $2,250,000
Project Name: Azusa Avenue Pedestrian Handicap Accessibility and Signal Synchronization Improvements Project
Project Location: West Covina
Amount Awarded: $3,000,000
Project Name: Quest Zone and Grade Crossing Safety Improvements throughout City
Project Location: Covina
Amount Awarded: $3,000,000
Napolitano, the highest-ranking California member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, additionally secured the following provisions on behalf of her district, region, and state:
- Provides $38 billion for California over the 5-year life of the bill
- $27 billion in Highway funding
- $11 billion in Transit funding
- Allowing Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Transit Park-and-Rides and Rest Areas
- Federal law currently prohibits electric vehicle charging stations at park-and-rides and rest areas located on the highway. This is a problem at 65+ transit park-and-ride lots in California, including the El Monte Bus Station in the 32nd District, which is the largest bus transit station on the West coast. Napolitano's provision in the bill allows electric vehicles owners to charge their cars at these important and convenient parking areas.
- A Transit worker protection program that requires safety improvements in buses to prevent assault on bus driver and remove blind spots.
- Based on Napolitano’s previously introduced bill, the Transit Worker and Pedestrian Protection Act.
- Railway Crossing Improvements - Makes changes to federal law to make it easier for local and state governments to implement grade crossing safety projects and remove many of the burdens placed on these projects. It ensures railroad companies are a reliable and effective partner in installing vehicular underpasses or overpasses at rail crossings.
- The Alameda Corridor East (ACE) grade separation project is the most successful grade crossing separation and safety project in the country having spent over $1.7 billion on these efforts in our region.
- Provides $2.5 billion for a new highway rail underpass construction program (known as a grade separation grant program). This was created after Napolitano had the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments testify earlier last year regarding the importance of highway rail safety and the aforementioned Alameda Corridor East (ACE) underpass construction program in the region.
- Truck Driver Leasing Task Force - Creates a task force of the Departments of Transportation and Labor to focus federal regulators and policy experts on creating solutions to controversial leasing arrangements in the trucking industry that are especially found at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. These illegal tactics by some trucking companies underpay truck drivers by forcing them into leasing arrangements that require them to work long hours without abiding by minimum wage laws, let alone reasonable pay and benefits. This task force will address these unfair practices against workers.
- Based on Napolitano's previously introduced bill, the Port Truck Driver Bill of Rights
- Allows states to use federal transportation funds to build suicide barriers on bridges. Studies show that the vast majority of suicides on bridges are because of a sudden impulse, and if a barrier were erected the person would not continue with a suicide attempt.
- Based on the bill Napolitano coauthors, the Barriers to Suicide Act (H.R. 792).
- Increases funding and amends the grant program for transit agencies to purchase electric buses and related infrastructure to make it make the program more effective and accessible. This will benefit Foothill Transit, LA Metro, and Proterra bus company in the San Gabriel Valley, who are all leaders on electric vehicle bus implementation.
- Includes a program to provide bigger purchases for electric buses to stimulate the electric bus market.
- Updates Infra Grant Program Requirements so that project selection is based on merit. Southern California transportation projects, such as the 57/60 confluence project and the ACE highway Rail grade crossing separation projects, are the highest-ranked projects in the country but until recently have consistently been overlooked because of politics. Thankfully, the Biden Administration recently awarded $30 million to the 57/60 project.
- Makes the grant requirements more associated with project quality and less by politics.
- Provides over $8.3 billion in the Transportation Alternatives Program for Bicyclists and Pedestrians, a 60% increase in current funding. Many residents and cities in the San Gabriel Valley use this funding to improve bike trails and walkways that get residents to school, work, and the Metro station or bus stop.
- Improve the Transit-Oriented Development Program and address homelessness in housing around transit stations.
- The bill includes Napolitano's provision to improve housing around transit stations and take into account housing persons experiencing homelessness at transit-oriented developments.
- Dramatically increases overall funding for Transit Funding to $109 billion to reach more neighborhoods and give residents affordable, safe and fast options for their commute.
More information on the INVEST in America Act can be found here.