Biden visits Wisconsin to announce $5B for new infrastructure projects across U.S.

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President Joe Biden will visit Wisconsin Thursday to announce nearly $5 billion in federal investments to launch 37 major transportation projects across the country. Photo by Ting Shen/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 25 (UPI) — President Joe Biden will visit Wisconsin Thursday to announce nearly $5 billion in federal investments to launch 37 major transportation projects across the country. The government investment includes more than $1 billion to replace the Blatnik Bridge, a 63-year-old span above the St. Louis River that connects Duluth, Minn., with Superior, Wis., where Biden will deliver remarks on Thursday. Advertisement
Biden plans to emphasize the economic impact of the Blatnik Bridge, which serves as a major linchpin in the region’s commerce, while also underscoring the bridge as a top priority in fortifying the nation’s infrastructure, the White House said.
Nearly $2.8 billion of the funding announced on Thursday will go to projects in rural areas.
The Blatnik Bridge was due to close by 2030 because of its deteriorating condition, but will now get a new lease on life with the fresh infusion of cash from the government.
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Earlier Thursday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg issued a statement praising key provisions of Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that were providing the latest funds, including the National Infrastructure Project Assistance grant program and the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant program.
“With this announcement, we are advancing projects so large, complex, and ambitious that they could not get funded under the infrastructure programs that existed prior to the Biden administration,” he said. “Our INFRA and Mega programs are helping build the cathedrals of American infrastructure: truly transformative projects that will change entire regions and our entire country for the better.”
During the stop in Superior, the president was expected to meet with an area business owner who would speak to the crucial role of the bridge in driving economic activity in the region.
The new span will feature bigger weight capacity to accommodate freight, and wider shoulders to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
Biden will use the visit to call attention to the expansion of infrastructure under his legislative agenda, as well as a clean energy and manufacturing boom that was serving to create jobs and spur the economy, the White House said.
Biden’s latest stop in the state recalled his visit to the area in March 2022, when he first emphasized the impact of his infrastructure law, saying, “after years of talking about infrastructure, we’re finally getting it done.”
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“America used to have the best roads, bridges and airports on Earth,” Biden said at the time, reprising part of his State of the Union speech the night before. “Now our infrastructure is ranked 13th in the world.”
On Thursday, Biden will also announce several other major investments, including $600 million to replace the Columbia River Bridge between Vancouver, Wash., and Portland, Ore.
Another $427 million will go toward establishing the first offshore wind terminal on the Pacific Coast; and $327 million will help replace the 80-year-old Sagamore Bridge, one of the Cape Cod Bridges, which spans the Cape Cod Canal and provides the only vehicle access to the Massachusetts mainland, the White House said.
Hundreds of millions of dollars will go to improving the I-376 corridor of Pittsburgh; and reconnecting communities divided by the Cross Bronx Expressway in New York, whose construction dates back to the late 1940s.
Another $95 million will be used to widen 10 miles of Interstate 10 through Pinal County in Arizona.
Previously, the Biden administration announced more than $400 billion to fund 40,000 infrastructure projects nationwide, while the private sector has invested an additional $640 billion, building increased momentum to achieve Biden’s policy goals.
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Construction is underway to replace the nearly 100-year-old Holland Tunnel between New York and New Jersey, which serves 200,000 drivers per day.
Work is also taking place to replace the 150-year-old Frederick Douglass Tunnel in Baltimore, with $4.7 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
More infrastructure projects are underway in Boston, Georgia, Montana, Nevada, Phoenix , Ariz., and St. Paul, Minn.
Since Biden took office, more than 670,000 construction jobs and 210,000 clean energy jobs have been created across the nation.
The broader plan includes funding for major rail initiatives, including $16.4 billion for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and $8.2 billion for pioneering high-speed rail projects.

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