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White House announces $27 billion in funding for bridge repair

Tobin Memorial Bridge Massachusetts
Posted at 10:39 AM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 13:29:09-05

On Friday, the Biden Administration announced it is increasing federal funding to fix dilapidated and outdated bridges, thanks to increased funding freed up by a recently-passed infrastructure spending law.

According to a fact sheet from the White House, the Department of Transportation is raising the cap for funding for bridge repair to $27 billion over the next five years. The funds will be sent to all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico and Tribal lands.

Speaking at the White House on Friday, President Joe Biden said that while billions of dollars of funding would go to upgrading the most economically significant bridges, billions more would go to fixing smaller, "off-system bridges" that are vital to keeping rural communities connected.

Signed into law in November, the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act allocated new funds to improve roadways and bridges across the U.S. It also expanded access to high-speed internet and created funding to replace lead pipes that carry drinking water.

"(The infrastructure bill) unites us around things we all depend on," Biden said Friday.

The law was passed with bipartisan support. Nineteen Republican senators and 17 Republican House members joined Democrats in passing the bill.

However, the bill only represented a portion of Biden's proposed domestic legislative agenda. A second bill, the $2 trillion Build Back Better Act, would increase social safety nets and provide more assistance to families raising children or caring for senior citizens. It would also provide funding for climate change initiatives.

However, that bill has stalled in the Senate. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, has pulled his support from the bill, leaving Democrats one vote shy of passage.