As Congress negotiates on an infrastructure infusion, the National League of Cities (NLC) met with city leaders across the United States to ask one simple question: “What is your top infrastructure priority?”
From the smallest to largest communities, every place has a story to tell, and Ready to Rebuild shows a range of transportation, water, broadband and workforce projects across the country from communities of all sizes. While projects are different, the message from local officials was the same: infrastructure is a job worth doing, but in most places, it’s now beyond what the local government can handle on its own. Does that sound familiar?
Are You a Small City with a Big Infrastructure Project?
Most local governments know exactly what needs to be done to fix their infrastructure, but they simply can’t afford it. Here are just a few examples of the small cities tackling big projects in their backyards.
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- Safe Water in Tryon, NC: With an aging dam and population, Tryon aims to keep its rates low for residents as they implement their capital improvement plan with multiple projects needed to improve the various systems providing water and sewer services to its citizens.
- Independence, MO, Needs a Broadband Connection: In a region with poor access to broadband, this project will ensure more equity in the city, ensuring that the entire community, businesses and schools will have access to high speed internet.
- Barrington, IL, Underpass Grade Separation of US Highway 14 from Railroad: With 20 freight trains cutting the town in half each day – separating people from schools, work, and the regional hospital, these necessary grade separations will restore through traffic, add walking and bike trails, support the town’s economic base, quality of life and safety.
Are You Trying to Make Your City a Safer Place to Live?
We’re amazed at how many projects are needed across the country for safety. Whether it’s keeping water safe or reducing conflict and accidents in transportation, there are far too many projects that we should have greenlighted years ago.
- Burnsville, MN, Landfill Cleanup Protects the Water Supply: Clearing this landfill will result in preventing a predictable disaster, clean drinking water for nearly 100,000 residents for decades to come, and the opportunity to attract a $1 billion mixed-use development opportunity.
- Versailles, KY, Main Street Needs a Bypass for Safety: With several manufacturing facilities nearby, Versailles’ Main Street is bustling with freight trucks instead of shoppers and diners; they are in need of a bypass to support local manufacturing, relieve congestion, improve safety, and support local jobs.
- Upgrading Ferndale, MI, Woodward Corridor for a Safer Future: The Woodward Moves! Project proposes to remove a lane in each direction for the two-mile segment that runs through the core of the city in order to install sidewalks, bike lanes, and improve the corridor’s stormwater infrastructure
- Chicago’s Water Lead Service Replacement Project: Currently, Chicago is home to the most lead service lines in the country with more than 300,000 properties affected. This project would create thousands of jobs and finally allow every Chicagoan access to clean water.
Are You a City with a Bold Infrastructure Vision?
Cities are leading some of the most innovative and exciting infrastructure projects across the country. We are glad to share your bold vision for transportation, water, and broadband investments alongside projects like these.
- Golden, CO, Broadband Fiber Ring Backbone: Investing in this broadband project provides resiliency and redundancy for all city operations including public safety and public works, it supports Golden’s local economy, and it will ensure that every household in the city has access to high-speed, reliable and affordable internet.
- Nashville’s Jefferson Street MultiModal Cap and Connector: This project would create a beautiful, tree-lined green space with bicycle and pedestrian paths that will connect two BIPOC neighborhoods previously bifurcated by the I-40 to Nashville’s larger greenway transportation system, and new public meeting facilities where area HBCUs and neighbors can host gatherings. It would also go a long way toward improving the physical, mental, and social health of this historic and significant community.
- Separating the Rail and Road Congestion Pain Point in Burlingame, CA: Of the 10,000 plus at-grade crossings in California, Burlingame’s at-grade crossing on Broadway is currently ranked the #1 project statewide by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for grade separation to improve safety. Adding a grade separation will increase safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and passenger vehicles.
- Expanding L.A. Metro’s Fare-Free Transit for Kids and Families: L.A.’s Fareless System Initiative directly benefits families struggling to afford basic necessities—things like rent, food, healthcare, and education. The ability to offer free transit rides for those in need addresses and relieves the additional expense of transportation.
This is just a snapshot of the unanswered infrastructure needs bubbling up in cities across America after decades of pressure from aging systems, growing populations, and more frequent extreme weather events. But right now, in our country, 91% of cities report insufficient funding is their top concern and delaying critical infrastructure investments. That’s right – 9 out of every 10 American cities and towns could use federal support to get their major systems back into decent condition, and each and every one of them could support local jobs and open up new opportunities in these places all across the country.
Local governments are ready to rebuild and to make their cities better places to live. NLC will keep calling on Congress to directly invest in local infrastructure and prepare for a better future, but we need cities to speak up for themselves too.
Take Action: Highlight Your City and Why You’re #ReadytoRebuild
Congress is actively negotiating an infrastructure package so now is the time to share your infrastructure priorities with:
- Your Member of Congress’ staffer in Washington, DC. Use NLC’s pre-drafted letter here, or if you want a staffer’s email from your Member of Congress’ office, please just let us know at email@example.com.
- Your Senators’ staffers in Washington, DC. Use NLC’s pre-drafted letter here, or if you want a Senate staffer’s email, please just let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Take a few minutes to fill out NLC’s Ready to Rebuild form to share your priority projects here.
Together, we can fix America’s infrastructure.
Want to know more about infrastructure projects around the country? Explore projects through our interactive map!