Saturday, December 4, 2021

Biden: The infamous bridge could finally be fixed in a $1T bill

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden on Monday began his sales pitch for his recently passed $1 trillion infrastructure bill, predicting that a notoriously congested bridge sitting in the backyard of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell would be demolished. Will finally get a long overdue overhaul.

Biden said in an interview with WKRC-TV that he hoped the Brent Spence Bridge, which carries traffic over the Ohio River and connects Cincinnati with northern Kentucky, would get funding in a bill that the House passed last week and is expected to be signed into law soon. .

“You’re all going to get over $10 billion in the state of Kentucky,” Biden said in the interview. “It’s listed as one of the most infamous bridges in the country. And so I’m guessing that’s going to be the choice your governor is going to make and wants to make. And we can get it done right now.”

The president highlighted a proposed project in two states that he lost in the 2020 election, launching what is expected to be an expanded administration-wide effort to get the country to know about an infrastructure bill. Might mean for Americans.

Biden and members of the cabinet are expected to increase media presence and visits across the country in the coming weeks to shed light on what is in the law. The White House says Biden will visit Baltimore on Wednesday to outline how the bill will help Americans by upgrading ports and strengthening supply chains.

The busy Brent Spence Bridge has long been a curse for motorists in both states. The Federal Highway Administration declared the bridge functionally obsolete in the 1990s because its narrow streets had more cars than it was designed for.

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Biden had previously pointed to the bridge project as a much-needed infrastructure work that would eventually be completed if Congress passed the law. At a July CNN town hall in Cincinnati, he referenced the dangerously old Brent Spence, promising that his administration will “fix that damn bridge of yours” if the law is passed.

In Kentucky, McConnell said on Monday he was “delighted” to see an infrastructure bill on the way to Biden’s desk, praising the bipartisan package even as he criticized the president’s sweeping $1.75 trillion of social services. And also supported the climate effort. through Congress.

“It would be the first time I’ve been here in a quarter of a century that I thought maybe there was a way over the Brent Spence Bridge,” McConnell told the audience at a stop in Covington, Kentucky.

He said Kentucky stood to secure $4.6 billion for so-called “tough infrastructure” and it would be up to state officials in Frankfurt to divest it.

“I think there may be a way to tackle these long-standing infrastructure problems not only in Kentucky, but across the country,” McConnell said.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said fixing Brent Spence was a high priority.

“I want to get this done,” said Beshear. “We’ve talked about it for decades. This is our best chance to do it. I want to be the governor who gets it done. What was once thought impossible has suddenly become possible.”

Associated Press writer Lisa Mascaro contributed reporting. Schreiner reported from Frankfurt, Ky.

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