By ANTHONY HENNEN
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden, in a visit to Pittsburgh on Thursday, touted his administration’s infrastructure investments in front of an almost-completed Fern Hollow Bridge that collapsed nine months ago.
The president spent most of his time emphasizing federal funding for infrastructure projects ranging from roads and bridges to railroads, service pipes, airport terminal upgrades, and broadband internet.
“For most of the last century, we led the world by a significant margin because we invested in our people, we invested in ourselves, we invested in our land,” President Biden said. “Along the way we stopped doing that. But not anymore. We’re back on track.”
He touted the federal money from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that came to the commonwealth.
“Pennsylvania alone has already received $5.2 billion just this year for hundreds of projects across the commonwealth, and that’s just announced another $2.5 billion to fix and upgrade Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges; and there will be billions more for other projects,” President Biden said.
The legislation passed in November as The Center Square previously reported, provided $1.2 trillion in funds for a variety of projects.
“For too long, we’ve talked about building the best economy in the world and the best infrastructure in the world,” President Biden said. “Now, we didn’t do it, but we’re finally getting to it, we’re getting it done.”
President Biden was joined by leading Democrats to include Gov. Tom Wolf, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb.
“The collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge was a visceral reminder that Pennsylvania, like many states, is in a race against time to repair aging infrastructure,” Gov. Wolf said in a release. “This problem isn’t unique to our state, but we need solutions urgently – because our communities deserve to know that they can rely on the safety of the bridges, roads and other infrastructure they use every single day.”
President Biden also argued the spending will shore up infrastructure and give a boost to most Americans.
“This law’s about more than rebuilding our infrastructure, it’s about rebuilding the middle class,” he said.
He also connected America’s state of repair with patriotism.
“When you see these projects in your neighborhoods … I want you to feel the way I feel: pride. Pride in what we can do when we work together, and that’s what I mean when I say we’re building a better America,” President Biden said.