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'We're finally getting it done': President Joe Biden talks infrastructure in Wisconsin

SUPERIOR, WISCONSIN - MARCH 02: President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the University of Wisconsin-Superior on March 02, 2022 in Superior, Wisconsin. President Biden spoke of his plan to help repair and rebuild the nation's infrastructure including the Blatnik Bridge, which spans the St. Louis River connecting Superior with Duluth, Minnesota. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson
Getty Images
President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the University of Wisconsin-Superior on March 2, 2022 in Superior, Wisconsin.

On Wednesday on the heels of his State of the Union address, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden traveled to Superior, Wisconsin. The purpose of the visit was to talk up the president’s bipartisan infrastructure law.

"When I signed that infrastructure law 100 days ago, we hit the ground running announcing $100 billion in new investments to create jobs for millions of Americans, modernizing our roads, our airports, our ports, our waterways," he said.

Biden touted some keys points in his speech at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

He said the legislation will replace all the lead pipes in the country, so people have access to clean water. And he saif the funding will provide affordable high-speed internet access to every American whether in urban, rural, suburban or tribal areas.

Biden also referenced Tuesday’s State of the Union address. In it, he talked about plans this year to improve 65,000 miles of highways and repair 1500 bridges.

Superior borders Duluth, Minnesota, and the Blatnik Bridge crosses both cities. Biden said folks know its value because many used the bridge to get their families to safety when the Husky Oil Refinery exploded in 2018.

"What you may not know, the bridge is 61 years old at the end of its useful life. The corrosion over the years has lowered the weight it can sustain to safely handle. This bridge also has outdated design — tight curves led to higher-than-average crash rates on this bridge," he said.

Biden added that there are 971 bridges in Wisconsin and 661 bridges in Minnesota in poor condition. And, he said there are nearly 7,000 miles of highway between the states that need repair.

"And now after years of talking about infrastructure, we’re finally getting it done," Biden said.

Ahead of the visit by the Democratic president, Wisconsin Republican Congressman Tom Tiffany said he supports an improvement project on the Blatnik Bridge. But he also wanted Biden to mention rebuilding the refinery in Superior and getting pipeline projects done.

"Like Line 5 — there is a permit that’s being held by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources right now for Ashland County. It is critical to get that done," he said.

Tiffany said that is some of the infrastructure that fuels America.

And Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, said Biden didn’t offer any real solutions to the problems Americans are facing, including inflation. In a statement, McDaniel said that proves “just how out-of-touch Biden and Democrats are with the American people.”

Teran is WUWM's race & ethnicity reporter.
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