Mike Thompson and John Garamendi delighted with infrastructure injection at press conference – Times-Herald

A shrewd $ 1.3 trillion can take a guy a step further. Have more than $ 30 billion thrown its way to California with millions going to Solano County? That’s enough for Mike Thompson and John Garamendi to do the tango.

Members of Congress with local responsibilities were downright stunned on Friday, joining other elected officials and transport officials in a late-morning press conference Friday at the SolTrans Park ‘n Ride in Lemon Street and Curtola Parkway.

In California, the Infrastructure and Jobs Act means $ 25 billion for highways, $ 4 billion for bridges, $ 10 billion for public transportation and $ 385 million for electric vehicle charging stations, a Thompson said.

“This is a one-off measure in a generation… that will really make a difference to our country,” said Thompson, with much of the money pumping “in improving public transportation and modernizing buses and rails with little or no emissions buses and ferries.

Thompson said Solano County and Vallejo are “very technologically advanced in public transit” and infrastructure projects “will make it easier, more efficient and more accessible.” To quote the chairman, this is a big deal.

Garamendi was equally enthusiastic.

“It is going to affect everyday life in a very positive way,” he said, emphasizing a concerted effort to get people out of their cars “and into public transport.”

The congressman and others spoke into a microphone placed between a SolTrans bus and a Ghilotti Bros. work truck, acknowledging the transition to electric buses and charging stations and reportedly added 2 million jobs for most unionized each year during the bill’s 10-year plan.

“California is way ahead of all other states in switching to electricity,” Garamendi said, calling the infrastructure and employment law “big, big deal.” This is a huge investment across the country. The biggest investment America has made in infrastructure. There are projects ready to go in this community.

The interchange near Six Flags Discovery Kingdom at 29 and 37 is a likely initial project with the I-80 in Fairfield which is often blocked and an interchange impacting Travis Air Force Base.

While the word “infrastructure” might not get people excited, “they get excited when they see things happening,” Garamendi said.

Other people who took a photo at the microphone included Solano County Supervisors Erin Hannigan and Monica Brown, Vallejo Mayor Robert McConnell, Vallejo City Council Member Pippin Dew, SolTrans CEO Beth Kranda, the mayor of Suisun, Lori Wilson, Darryl Hall, executive director of the Solano Transportation Authority and Benicia. City Councilor Trevor Macenski.

“It’s like a lifeline,” said Vallejo Mayor Robert McConnell, saying Vallejo “needs more of these upgrades than any other town in the county” because “our infrastructure suffered after the closure of the base (Mare Island) “.

The immediate impact of the Infrastructure Act “remains to be seen,” McConnell said after the press conference, confident that “this money will come quickly” because of his involvement in key agencies.

“We’re ready to go at home and hit a home run,” said McConnell.

Hannigan has the struggling Hwy 37 as a key target for improvement.

“This money couldn’t have come at a better time,” she said. “In Vallejo, funding support for our infrastructure has been needed for many decades. We can finally make improvements to the roads, to the water system and certainly to the national road 37. It is a road that should only take 20 minutes to get here from Marin County and during the journey it takes longer. an hour, sometimes more than two hours. It is absolutely horrible.

Some in the public might fear that the distribution of billions of dollars in the Bay Area is free of fraud and corruption “and they should be,” Hall said, noting that transportation projects are often audited and that there is extensive federal credit supervision.

Hall believes funding should arrive by the spring to start the Six Flags interchange for summer construction.

“It’s ready for the shovel,” he said. “Everything is ready, as are a few other projects in the county. This is a huge opportunity for our country. “

As a retired teacher, Brown said she was “excited” to see broadband improvements to level the playing field for students, funding to fight Solano County wildfires and electric school buses “so kids don’t have to breathe fumes while waiting to get on the bus.”

Macenski said the infrastructure funds “will have a big impact on a small community that needs investment. This is going to be critical. “

Thompson continues to promote the impact of the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act on Saturday, where he is expected to be joined by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Jared Huffman at Coffey Park in Santa Rosa.

Thompson, D-St. Helena, represents the 5th Congressional District which includes all of Napa and parts of Contra Costa, Lake, Solano and Sonoma counties.

Garamendi, D-CA., Represents the 3rd district which includes most of the Sacramento Valley north and west of Sacramento. It covers all of Colusa, Sutter and Yuba counties, most of Glenn, Lake, Solano and Yolo counties, and part of Sacramento County.

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