Biden to lift spending on bridges as part of infrastructure drive

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Construction workers are seen at the site of a large public infrastructure reconstruction project in New York

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will trumpet his administration’s plans to spend $27 billion fixing thousands of U.S. bridges on Friday, the latest roll-out associated with the $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

Biden plans the remarks as his larger economic package, Build Back Better, has stalled in the Senate and his poll numbers have sagged as concerns have mounted over the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation.

Along with a major pandemic relief bill, the bipartisan infrastructure bill he signed in November stands as Biden’s biggest legislative achievement in his first year in office.

The administration believes popular infrastructure investments can also ease transportation bottlenecks in the aftermath of the pandemic that have led to supply shortages and rising prices. Surveys of U.S. infrastructure regularly find the country’s major bridges and other thoroughfares in need of repair.

Money for bridges will be made available to 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and sovereign tribes over five years, the Department of Transportation said. They estimate approximately 15,000 bridges could be repaired due to the investment.

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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