INDIANAPOLIS — President Biden’s infrastructure bill is being called one of the largest federal investments in physical infrastructure in decades. The $1 trillion bill includes money for everything from roads and bridges to broadband internet.
It includes $110 billion dollars for repairing the country’s highways, roads and bridges. $39 billion for public transportation and $65 billion to improve broadband internet in rural parts of the country.
These types of investments are something that Indiana Chamber of Commerce president Kevin Brinegar says businesses in the Hoosier state rely on.
“It’s the physical infrastructure bill that we’ve been advocating for a long long time,” Brinegar said. “Congress has not passed a major infrastructure bill or done anything on highway funding for a long time.“
One of the projects that Brinegar says needs those federal dollars is the I-69 project which is in its final phase.
“We need I-69 to not end in a cul-de-sac but continue on with a new bridge over the Ohio River connecting I-69 and Kentucky and there’s a joint project between Indiana, Kentucky and the federal government,“ Brinegar said. “With this package passing, we are much more confident that the funds will be there for the federal share to complete that bridge so that I-69 can continue on south through Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas and all the way to Mexico.”
He also says the investments in broadband internet is important as, if not more so, than the money going towards roads and bridges.
Only two of Indiana’s congressional representatives voted “yes” on the bill. Both are democrats.
Democratic congressman André Carson, who voted for bill, said in statement that it was a good day for Indiana.
“The House’s advancement of these two pieces of legislation brings us much closer to enacting the bold reforms needed to keep America strong and prosperous well into the 21st Century,” Rep. Carson said.
Republican congressman Larry Bucshon voted against the bill saying it “missed the mark.”
“While there may be individual pieces of this bill that would meaningfully invest in our nation’s infrastructure, this legislation in its totality misses the mark,” Rep. Bucshon said. “Only a fraction of funds contained in this bill are actually going toward critical infrastructure, with tens of billions in misaligned spending going towards Democrats’ pet priorities.”
Brinegar said the other important piece of this bill is that it will create local construction jobs needed to complete these infrastructure projects.
The bill still needs to be signed by President Biden and that is expected to happen this week.