Pete Buttigieg to travel to Arizona to promote infrastructure law

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and the future location of the light rail line northwest of Phoenix are on the agenda Friday as U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg travels to Arizona to promote the signing of the $ 1.2 trillion federal infrastructure bill.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, negotiated largely by US Senator Kyrsten Sinema and enacted by President Joe Biden earlier this week, will inject funds into public works projects nationwide. Arizona will be eligible for billions for highways, roads, bridges, public transportation, airports, high-speed internet, wildfire protection and cybersecurity.

Buttigieg will visit the future extension of the Northwest Light Rail Transit as part of a Valley Metro event at the closed Metrocenter Mall. The event will celebrate $ 58 million in federal funding for the project, which was announced earlier this year but will be officially approved on Friday.

The light rail line will extend the light rail a mile and a half from the existing end-of-line station in northwest Phoenix to the Metrocenter mall, which city officials say will help boost the stalled redevelopment of the shopping center site. The light rail is one of several transit projects in Arizona that can benefit from infrastructure law.

The event will feature FTA administrator Nuria Fernandez her first visit to Phoenix in this role, according to Valley Metro communications director Hillary Foose.

“In addition to Administrator Fernandez, there are many other ‘firsts’ associated with this project and we are delighted to celebrate them, as well as this infrastructure project in general, with our local and federal leaders,” said Foose. .

Buttigieg will also visit Sky Harbor, according to the mayor’s office.

Under the Infrastructure Law, the city’s airport is eligible for $ 44 million per year, or $ 222 million over 5 years. Projects could include improving the infrastructure on the tarmac that will reduce wait times for take-off and improving the route to the airport, Sky Harbor Boulevard, to make it easier for travelers to navigate.

Buttigieg visited Phoenix in July to boost support for the infrastructure bill, saying at the time that it would better connect residents and stimulate the local economy.

Contact the reporter at [email protected] or at 602-444-8763. Follow her on Twitter @JenAFifield.

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