Biden’s infrastructure plan has 4,300 projects six months in
By Jenny LescohierMay 08, 2023
Six months after the signing of President Joe Biden’s $1-trillion infrastructure package, the government said there are 4,300 projects currently underway with more than $110 billion in funding announced.
White House senior adviser Mitch Landrieu, the former mayor of New Orleans, said the roads, bridges and other projects are laying “a foundation for tremendous growth into the future,” Josh Boak of the Associated Press reported.
“I think that if Americans step back, we will all have to admit that for the last 50 years we’ve had the need to do this and we haven’t found the will or the way to get it done,” Landrieu told reporters. He added that this is a “wonderful down payment” on infrastructure needs in the country that total roughly $7 trillion.
Of the $110 billion announced so far, $52.5 billion is for federal highway funding this fiscal year and $20.5 billion for public transit. There is another $27 billion over five years for bridges, as well as money for safety, rural highways, airports, ports, drought resilience and other programs.
The law also contains money to expand internet access and replace lead water pipes and for rail and public transit projects and investments to address climate change.
The Commerce Department last week called on states to begin the process of submitting their plans for universal access to high-speed internet. Biden has also taken steps to maximize the likelihood that construction materials are made domestically, as the money has started to go out.
Landrieu said the two biggest challenges of coordinating the spending have involved offering technical assistance to smaller governments and enabling workforce development to fill the jobs being created. There are 7.6 million construction jobs in the U.S., with employers advertising about 400,000 openings in the sector.
If the government succeeds with coordination and future administrations follow suit, Landrieu said, “America is going to grow exponentially faster and winning the 21st century is not going to be a challenge for us.”