Sep 15 2022

Tillis Op-Ed: Modernizing North Carolina’s infrastructure from mountaintop to coastline

The Washington Times

By Senator Thom Tillis

September 15, 2022


North Carolina is a state blessed with boundless natural beauty, with mountain ranges in the west and beaches in the east. With this diverse landscape comes unique challenges to maintaining and improving our infrastructure. North Carolina currently has more than 3,000 miles of highway considered to be in “poor condition” and nearly 1,500 bridges considered in “poor condition.”

As North Carolina’s senator, one of my top priorities has been ensuring our state has the resources needed to modernize our infrastructure system. Last year, I worked on the Senate's historic bipartisan infrastructure package, which resulted in a major win for the nation. I worked on a bipartisan basis to successfully negotiate and draft the bipartisan infrastructure bill because I recognized the importance of investing in and strengthening our infrastructure for future generations.

Contrary to some misinformation being floated around, the infrastructure bill is exclusively focused on investing in real infrastructure like roads, bridges, water systems, and our electrical grid. The $550 billion was paid for without raising taxes, and it will help generate billions in economic growth for decades to come in a fiscally responsible way, including re-using unspent unemployment insurance and unspent COVID-19 recovery funding rather than simply adding to our nation’s debt. 

The Tar Heel state alone will receive $10 billion for future transportation and infrastructure projects, as the legislation provides much-needed funding to repair and improve our highways, roads, bridges, and airports. It also provides a large investment to expand broadband access in rural communities.

[…] The bipartisan infrastructure bill also takes a big step in addressing the challenges faced by North Carolina’s coastal communities, which are all too familiar with historic flooding events that have destroyed thousands of homes over the last few years. Following the destruction on our coast caused by Hurricanes Matthew and Florence, I worked with our state delegation to secure billions of dollars in disaster relief funding so communities could recover as quickly as possible. 

Read the full op-ed here