CLEVELAND — President Biden landed at Cleveland Hopkins Airport Thursday morning and spoke in Lorain at The Shipyards about the Infrastructure and Investment Act money heading to our state. News 5 is providing live video and continuing coverage of the president's visit here.
Arrival in Cleveland
Air Force One arrived at the Cleveland airport around 10:40 a.m. Thursday, about two hours earlier than originally scheduled.
You can watch the arrival in the player below:
Speech in Lorain
Biden spoke at The Shipyards about the passing of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which allocates $1 billion to accelerate clean-up of areas along the Great Lakes.
You can watch Biden's speech in the player below:
Northeast Ohio has had three rivers that are classified as AOCs: the Black River in Lorain, the Cuyahoga River and the Ashtabula River, which just last summer was delisted by the EPA after a 33-year, $67.5 million clean-up. That cleanup removed 14,000 pounds of cancer-causing PCP’s and enough hazardous sediment to fill 350 football fields a foot thick.
The additional funds will go into the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and be on top of their regular funding, funding that in the past has faced near elimination. For three years in the Trump administration, funding for the EPA was cut as late as 2019 by a third, with the GLRI faced with a 90% cut. Those monies were eventually restored thanks to a bi-partisan effort by Great Lakes members of Congress, including outgoing Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).
RELATED: President Joe Biden to announce $1 billion in new funding for Great Lakes cleanup in Lorain visit
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said the law will also direct $97 million in funding for road and bridge repair in Ohio this year alone.
The state's roads were graded a "C-," and bridges graded a "D" by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
"That's going to make a big difference in Cuyahoga County and really across the state in making it possible to improve those bridges that we count on every day,” Buttigieg said.
RELATED: President Biden to tout Infrastructure and Investment Act money heading to Ohio in Thursday visit
That the president chose Lorain is not a surprise, a once-mighty steel town that stands to benefit beyond repairs to its bridges because the act requires that the steel for them be made in the U.S.
“There will be Buy America provisions,” said Senator Sherrod Brown. “Where no more Oakland Bay Bridge where the steel is entirely made, the entire bridge is steel made by the Chinese."
In addition, Lorain is also a North Coast port town and the act includes $17 billion for port infrastructure and waterways.
President Biden is now scheduled to depart Cleveland at 1:45 p.m., arrive at Joint Base Andrews at 2:55 p.m., and speak to the press on the South Lawn of the White House at 3:15 p.m.