The White House has announced that America’s crumbling roads and bridges are up next in its infrastructure agenda. The Biden team says its Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will not only rebuild deteriorating roads and bridges, but it will also replace lead pipes and improve the quality of the internet to “every family in America.”
If the administration’s recipe goes according to plan, the offshoot of the infrastructure improvements will create good-paying jobs and bolster the country’s manufacturing and supply chains. However, the plan doesn’t stop there. The White House also pledged that 40% of its investment in climate and clean energy will directly benefit disadvantaged communities.
“With over 44,000 bridges in poor condition around our country, today’s announcement of $27.5 billion in long-overdue funding is great news for rural and urban communities alike,” Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, said in a statement emailed to ConsumerAffairs.
“These investments will create good-paying jobs in all 50 states, DC, and the territories. Bridges connect communities and are critical to everyday life—helping Americans get to work, visit family, or explore our great country. Thanks to President Biden and Congressional Democrats, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is delivering for the American people and helping ensure they succeed in the 21st century economy.”
Clean energy, cheaper internet, and more
Here’s a quick look at what the White House hopes can be completed in its plan:
Bridge repair: The government is investing $27 billion over the next five years in funding to replace, repair, and rehabilitate bridges across the country to all 50 states, as well as Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and Tribal governments.
EV charging action plan: On top of what General Motors and others are doing to spread the availability of charging stations for electric vehicles, the President’s new goal is to build a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers.
Clean energy: Biden said the Department of Energy is establishing a new Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, which will oversee $20 billion in funding to scale up clean energy, create new, good-paying jobs for American families and workers, and reduce pollution.
Clean water: Also in the works is a lead pipe and paint action plan to replace all of the nation’s lead pipes in the next decade while expanding access to clean drinking water.
Cheaper and wider internet: President Biden's infrastructure law includes what he terms a historic investment of $65 billion that should help close the digital divide and “ensure that all Americans have access to reliable, affordable, high-speed broadband.”
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is coming to the table with its own plan to provide broadband subsidies of up to $30/month for low-income households and up to $100 towards the purchase of a computer.