Tester touts infrastructure dollars at Missoula visit

Rob Chaney

Montana should see a super-sized construction season this coming spring when federal infrastructure money starts flowing.

“Roads, bridges, broadband, sewer and water, electrical transmission, all that stuff we’ve been talking about for decades and decades, has finally come to fruition,” said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, during a visit to Missoula on Tuesday.

Tester was one of the 10 members of a bipartisan negotiating team that put together the $1.2-trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs legislation signed by President Joe Biden last week.

Tester spoke at Missoula’s Felco Industries, which manufactures components for excavating equipment. The 20-person company is raising a new building and expects to be extensively involved in road and water service projects next spring.

The infrastructure bill includes about $2.82 billion for Montana highway work and $1 billion for rural water system upgrades. The Milk River Project will get $100 million to complete its long-delayed irrigation network.

Thinning project aims at pre-logging landscape

The Basin Creek Watershed that supplies about 60% of Butte’s drinking water got special attention. Tester wrote a letter to Forest Service Chief Roy Moore about a $500 million plank in the bill targeted at removing hazardous fuels, $100 million for development of biochar

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