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Guest opinion: Infrastructure law will help build a better future for Utah

By Angie Osguthorpe - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Jun 27, 2022

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Angie Osguthorpe

Much like the rest of Utah, Davis County continues to grow as new businesses and industries expand their presence in our communities, creating jobs and supporting a stronger economy. As the Davis Chamber of Commerce works to foster a positive climate for local businesses, we must ensure that our infrastructure is able to support the continued growth our communities will experience in the coming years.

That is one reason why last year’s passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was so critical to Utah’s future. Perhaps most notably, the new law will help Utah invest in much-needed repairs and upgrades to our transportation infrastructure, improving our communities while facilitating intrastate commerce that keeps local economies like ours vibrant and growing. 

This includes roughly $2.6 billion over the next five years to help repair, rebuild, and maintain Utah’s roads, highways, and bridges — strengthening our infrastructure while creating shovel-ready jobs for Utahns. On top of that, the bipartisan infrastructure law provides $19 million to help Utah improve roadway safety through highway safety traffic programs aimed at reducing deaths and injuries resulting from car accidents. 

These investments will not only help ensure Utah’s infrastructure can keep up with our rapidly growing population, but also keep our roads safer and potentially save lives. Additionally, Utah will receive roughly $665 million over the next five years to invest in public transportation options that will help increase mobility in our communities, support local businesses, and allow us to continue reducing emissions in order to improve air quality. 

These are really just a few of the primary transportation-related elements of the infrastructure law; it also invests in other critical infrastructure needs that will benefit local residents and businesses alike, including broadband deployment, water infrastructure improvements, and the development of clean energy technologies. Bottom line, Utah will be able to build a stronger and more economically secure future thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

As one of the chief negotiators of the bill, Senator Mitt Romney played a critical leadership role in the infrastructure debate. His work to reach a bipartisan agreement on such a critical issue — which impacts all Utahns regardless of political affiliation — should not be overlooked. Local businesses, economies, and communities in Davis County and statewide owe a lot to Senator Romney for working across the aisle to secure these crucial investments for our state. 

Angie Osguthorpe is the President and CEO of the Davis Chamber of Commerce.

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