Monday's signing of the federal infrastructure bill brought a smile to Montana Senator Jon Tester, who said Montana will receive billions of dollars to repair roads and bridges, along with another surge of funding for high speed internet service. The bill includes specific projects such as water systems and wildfire readiness.

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Tester said in a video statement:
"Today we delivered urgently-needed infrastructure investments to Montana that will support our small businesses, lower costs for working families, and grow our economy without raising taxes. I worked closely with Republicans and Democrats to negotiate this bill because that's what Montanans expect from their elected leaders - that we put our differences aside and work across the aisle on real, lasting solutions that will have a positive impact on our economy and on everyone in the Treasure State."

Specifically, the bill sends $2.82 billion to Montana roads, highways and bridges. Broadband access to remote areas gets $4.2 billion and the state also gets millions for broadband planning and project coordination. The Bureau of Reclamation will use $1 billion for rural water projects and millions for various Indian water projects. There's also money coming for modernizing border security and funding for a number of plans to restore post-forest-fire areas and to improve community forest fire readiness.

The law is expected to create more than 800,000 American jobs, Tester said. And that includes making sure that skilled workers are trained to help deploy the broadband equipment. Welcoming the new funding were officials from the Motor Carriers of Montana, the Montana Wildlife Federation, The American Council of Engineering Companies of Montana and the Montana Farm Bureau Federation.

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