(NationalUSNews.com) — During his visit to Superior, Wisconsin, on Thursday, January 25, President Biden announced plans for nearly $5 billion in infrastructure projects. The money will be used for 37 major infrastructure projects across at least a dozen states, with much of the funding being earmarked for building and repairing new bridges. The American Society of Civil Engineers puts out a report card rating the infrastructure within the U.S. every four years, and they have been concerned in particular about America’s bridges for years.
The topic of replacing the Blatnik Bridge, which spans 7,975 feet and rises to a height of nearly 120 feet between Wisconsin and Minnesota, is of great concern in those states and, as President Biden himself noted, is also “vital” to the nation’s economy. Over 33,000 vehicles travel on the Blatnik Bridge daily, yet heavy trucks are prohibited due to its decaying condition. The president also pointed out that the need to replace the bridge has been discussed for decades but has never come about. He promised the new bridge will have greater weight capacity and utilize more modern designs, with smoother on-and-off ramps, wider shoulders, and a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists.
Several other bridges are included in the infrastructure plans. There will be $372 million allocated to replace Cape Cod’s almost 90-year-old Sagamore Bridge, and $600 million will be used to replace the I-5 Bridge between Vancouver, Washington, and Portland, Oregon. Another project will be the first offshore wind terminal on the West Coast to be built just off California, with funding for that clocking in at $427 million. Of note to those who have seen in the past few years what happens when a nation is having issues with their shipping ports, there is also $300 million to build a new container terminal for the Port of New Orleans.
According to the White House, $2.8 billion, which is over half the proposed funding for the infrastructure investment, will be allocated to projects in rural parts of the country. Infrastructure spending has wide bipartisan support, both in government and among everyday Americans, so this is a savvy move on the part of President Biden. While nothing is certain, it may be that the 2024 election will come down to Biden against Trump again. In his announcement in Wisconsin on Thursday, Biden made reference to Trump’s lack of follow-up on promised infrastructure improvements. Whatever the outcome in 2024, safer bridges and improved infrastructure are appreciated by everyone.
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