FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Local leaders came together Tuesday afternoon to offer a glimpse into the future of how President Biden’s trillion-dollar infrastructure package will start to rebuild not only our country, but the Central Valley.
Just a week ago, President Biden signed into law the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, investing over 1 trillion dollars to fix our nation’s infrastructure.
It allocates 25 billion dollars in supplemental funding for airports, that is on top of the funds already authorized for airports under existing law.
At the Fresno Yosemite International Airport, terminal expansion and airport garage changes are just some of the improvements that will come thanks to the infrastructure package.
“We are ready to grow this airport, so we are just excited for what the future holds with this new infrastructure bill,” says the director of aviation at the Fresno Airport, Kevin Meikle.
Local city and government leaders call the law a gamechanger in the fight to improve the nation’s infrastructure.
The funding available for airports nationwide will be 15 billion dollars over five years, dollars the city of Fresno says is needed to support a growing airport.
“This infrastructure bill can help the airport with that expansion program, that helps us use other dollars or other purposes out on the airfield, or beyond that current expansion,” says Meikle.
Mayor Jerry Dyer said at the press conference that he’s confident some of the funding will make its way quickly to Fresno to make those airport improvements.
“We’re serious about expanding our terminal, with 2.6 million passengers coming in and out of Fresno terminal, that we need expansion, “says Dyer.
Congressman Jim Costa highlights the ways the funding will pump dollars into other parts of the central valley’s infrastructure, thus creating more jobs.
“We’re talking about transportation projects, water projects, we’re talking about broadband and the internet,” says Congressman Costa.
The infrastructure package will also allow local leaders to address air quality issues, crucial to the valley.
“This infrastructure package allows us to address some of those things like air quality and for us in Fresno to fully transition to zero-emission buses,” says Dyer.
The funding will be distributed through the existing airport improvement program.