Column | New roads, faster Internet coming to Mohave County
In July, I flew up to Mohave County. While I was there, I met with elected officials and local leaders, where we discussed the unique needs of rural Arizona.
Alongside your Mayor Jen Miles and others, I toured the Kingman Airport and Industrial Park, the largest industrial park outside of Maricopa County. I also visited Mohave Community College and the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Center, where I learned about the kinds of initiatives students and businesses are participating in to create more jobs in the County and get folks the job training and skills to work them. One topic that came up frequently that day was the urgent need to invest in rural Arizona – whether it’s new roads, safer highways, high-speed internet, or securing our water future – it was clear that in order for communities in Mohave County to grow, thrive, and create more jobs that put money in the pockets of working families, there needed to be a down payment on infrastructure.
So, when I went back to Washington, I got back to work on the infrastructure package I was helping shape with my Republican and Democratic colleagues – the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. And now, after months of hard work, I am proud to say that this legislation is officially law and is going to have an impact and create jobs in every corner of the state, including Mohave County.
This historic investment in what connects us is going to put Arizona on a path not only to economic recovery, but prosperity. More than a promising path forward for our country, the bipartisan infrastructure bill will be pivotal for Arizona’s workers. Studies show that the bill would create roughly half a million new American manufacturing jobs in the next three years alone. Thousands of jobs will be created right here in Arizona.
Arizona’s 66,000 miles of public roads and aging bridges will undergo renovations and upgrades that will prepare them for the growing population for decades to come. The bill provides funding for roads and 132 structurally deficient bridges, and dedicates specific resources for safety upgrades to rural roads.
I also pushed to ensure that this bill provided the funding to move the I-11 project forward, a priority for me. This means we can finally press play on a plan to create a direct – and much safer – interstate connecting Kingman to Las Vegas and Phoenix. Completing this critical infrastructure project will put Mohave County in the middle of the growing Arizona economy.
But in order to leverage these new jobs and support existing ones, we also need to provide a high-speed internet connection in every corner of the state. Fast, reliable broadband service has long been lacking in some of Mohave County’s rural areas. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is going to bring communities in this region up to speed so that they can access online classes, virtual doctor’s appointments, start new businesses, and more, through dedicated federal dollars for broadband deployment. I also convinced my Senate colleagues to include dedicated resources for states like Arizona, whose rural communities often face higher construction costs for broadband projects.
This is my approach to representing Arizona in the United States Senate – taking what I hear from every corner of the state and delivering results.
In this case, this infrastructure bill is going to put Arizonans to work upgrading and building infrastructure in our communities, including in Mohave County. I’ll keep working to rebuild our economy and lower costs for Arizona families not just in Phoenix or Tucson, but in rural and small town Arizona as well.