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SPANISH FORK — A water-delivery project in a growing part of Utah County will move along more quickly thanks to the federal infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden is expected to sign Monday.
"Our communities are growing quickly, and completion of the system will provide for the increasing water demands," said Gene Shawcroft, general manager of the Central Utah Water Conservancy District.
The $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides $50 million in funding for the Central Utah Project Completion Act.
"The additional funds for the Central Utah Project will provide a more rapid completion of the system in south Utah County and facilitate deliveries into Salt Lake County," Shawcroft said.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, helped write and negotiate the legislation and was the only member of Utah's federal delegation to vote to approve the bill.
"Hard, physical infrastructure projects that are part of this legislation — that are the entire part of this legislation — are going to help Utah maintain the kind of vitality and good quality of life that we've long enjoyed, and provide and a place where our kids and their kids will be happy to raise their families," Romney said.
Romney toured the construction site Friday where sections of pipe are lined up.
He said just before signing, they discovered this project was left out of the bill.
"This was the one project, in the whole legislation, that stopped the bill and caused us to go back and re-draft and get a new draft and then distribute that and allow a vote and make sure that the Central Utah Water Project, the $50 million associated with this project, would actually be in the final legislation," he said.
The current section under construction will bring water from the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon to the Santaquin area.
Water officials said the funding could cut the project time in half and that more than 100,000 people will benefit from the delivery of the water, which will also be used for irrigation, hydroelectric power and for fish and wildlife.