President Joe Biden and Governor Tony Evers spoke at UW-Superior this Wednesday, where they discussed the expected impact of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was passed in under the Biden administration in Nov. 2021.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, provides $110 billion in federal funding to improve roads, highways, and bridges. Wisconsin is expected to receive approximately $5 billion as a result of the legislation over the course of the next five years, an increase of $1 billion from the funding the state has received in previous years.
During his speech to the Yellowjacket Union, which was given less than 24 hours after giving his first State of the Union address, Biden emphasized the importance of federal funding for repairing aging and broken infrastructure in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
“There are 979 bridges in Wisconsin and 661 bridges in Minnesota in poor condition, along with nearly 7,000 miles of highway between your two states that need repair,” Biden said. “And now, after years of talking about infrastructure, we’re finally getting it done. Finally.”
Evers echoed Biden’s sentiments explaining that he feels that the federal infrastructure legislation passed by the Biden administration provides the state with much-needed support to repair its transportation infrastructure, including replacing old highways and bridges.
“Our roads and bridges in Wisconsin have suffered for years and years because of a lack of meaningful investment in our state’s transportation infrastructure,” Evers stated. “With this bipartisan infrastructure law, there are several billion dollars coming our way to build on the progress we made in fixing our roads and highways. This is a once-in-a-generation investment, folks.”
The president also stopped to speak with construction workers near Blatnik Bridge, one of two bridges connecting Superior with Duluth. The aging bridge, built in 1961, is scheduled for replacement in 2028, a project funded by the infrastructure law.
“This bridge is 60 years old, at the end of a useful life,” Biden said. “Corrosion over the years has lowered the weight it can sustain and safely handle. Over the next five years, based on formula finding, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide Wisconsin an estimated $5.4 billion for highways and bridges.”
Francesca Pica is the city news editor for The Daily Cardinal. She has covered multiple municipal elections and is a leading reporter on Madison labor issues. Additionally, she will serve as a news intern for The Capital Times throughout the summer of 2023.