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Biden unveils nearly $5 billion in new infrastructure projects



Washington — President Biden unveiled a nearly $5 billion investment for dozens of infrastructure projects throughout the country on Thursday during a visit to a Superior, Wisconsin, including a key bridge connecting the state to Minnesota. 

The investment targets 37 major infrastructure projects throughout the country across at least 12 states, with much of the funding going toward repairing and building new bridges. Among the investments is $600 million to replace the I-5 bridge that connects Washington and Oregon; $372 million for the Sagamore Bridge in Cape Cod, Massachusetts; and $1.06 billion to replace the Blatnik Bridge that runs between Wisconsin and Minnesota, near where Mr. Biden appeared for the announcement on Thursday. 

The president surveyed the bridge site ahead of his speech, taking time to speak with iron workers. He called the Blatnik Bridge a “vital” link for the nation’s economy. 

“For decades, people talked about replacing this bridge. But it never got done — until today,” Mr. Biden said, to applause from the brewery where he spoke. “I’m beyond proud to announce $1 billion from the bipartisan infrastructure law will be used to build this new bridge — a new bridge that will increase capacity for large trucks and oversized loads, a new bridge with a modern design, wider shoulders, smoother on-and-off ramp, a new bridge with a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists.”

President Biden speaks with ironworkers near the John A. Blatnik Bridge between Minnesota and Wisconsin on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, in Superior, Wisconsin.

Alex Brandon / AP

“This funding is part of a larger $5 billion investment led by the Department of Transportation for 37 major projects across America, including bridges, highways, ports, airports,” the president continued. 

White House principal deputy press secretary Olivia Dalton called this a “full-circle moment” for the president, who visited the bridge site about two years ago. 

The announcement is part of the administration’s broader strategy to invest in infrastructure projects, after passing signature legislation like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act and CHIPS and Science Act earlier in Mr. Biden’s presidency. The new projects add to more than $400 billion for 40,000 infrastructure projects that the White House previously unveiled. The White House and Biden campaign are looking to tout infrastructure projects heading into the general election. 

The president has made it clear he believes former President Donald Trump will be his competition in November, a belief that’s increasingly reflected in his speeches.

“He talked about infrastructure every week for four years. ‘Infrastructure week,'” Mr. Biden said of Trump on Thursday. “Well, we have infrastructure year. On my watch, instead of infrastructure week, America’s having an infrastructure decade.” 

More than half of the funding announced Thursday, $2.8 billion, will go to projects in rural parts of the country, the White House said. Outside of the bridges, funding is also allocated for an offshore wind project in California, a new container terminal for shipping vessels in Louisiana and a rail improvement project in Nevada.

The president’s visit to Wisconsin comes on the heels of the United Auto Workers endorsing him on Wednesday. 

“Joe Biden bet on the American worker while Donald Trump blamed the American worker,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in his announcement during the UAW’s political convention in Washington, D.C. “We need to know who’s gonna sit in the most powerful seat in the world and help us win as a united working class. So if our endorsements must be earned, Joe Biden has earned it.”

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