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Sat July 20 2024

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Bipartisan team agrees $550bn US infrastructure deal

29 Jul 21 US president Joe Biden and a bipartisan group of senators have agreed a US$550 (£395bn) deal to make the country’s biggest investment in infrastructure in nearly a century.

Joe Biden has welcomed the US$550m infrastructure deal
Joe Biden has welcomed the US$550m infrastructure deal

Biden said that the deal is the most important investment in public transit in American history and the most important investment in rail since the creation of Amtrak 50 years ago.

“This deal signals to the world that our democracy can function, deliver, and do big things,” said Biden. “As we did with the transcontinental railroad and the interstate highway, we will once again transform America and propel us into the future.”

He added: “It will put Americans to work in good-paying, union jobs repairing our roads and bridges. It will put plumbers and pipefitters to work replacing all of the nation’s lead water pipes so every child and every American can turn on the faucet at home or school and drink clean water—including in low-income communities and communities of colour that have been disproportionally affected by dangerous lead pipes.

“Americans will build transmission lines and upgrade our power grid to be more resilient and cleaner. Americans will strengthen our infrastructure, like our levees, in the face of extreme weather like superstorms, wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, and heat waves.
“American workers will make a historic investment to install the first-ever national network electric vehicle charging stations and undertake critical environmental clean-ups.”

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The deal was welcomed by Tom Smith, executive director of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). “Businesses know that our nation’s infrastructure needs immediate attention if we are to remain competitive in the global marketplace,” he said. “The agreed-upon $550 billion in new spending goes far beyond transportation - it will make a significant impact on improving almost all of the categories featured in ASCE’s 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, which assigned the nation’s systems a disappointing grade of ‘C-’. This proposal will remove dangerous lead service water lines in countless communities, safeguard critical assets against increasingly severe weather trends, modernise ageing transit fleets, and fix structurally deficient bridges in need of repair.”

He added: “We commend these senators for prioritizing infrastructure through a bipartisan agreement. Now we urge the full Senate to pass the cloture motion so this crucial legislation can proceed.”

In total, the deal includes US$550bn in new federal investment in America’s infrastructure.

  • Roads, bridges, and major projects - US$110bn
  • Transport safety - US$11bn
  • Public transit - US$39bn
  • Passenger and freight rail - US$66bn
  • Electric vehicle infrastructure - US$7.5bn
  • Reconnecting communities - US$1bn to reconnect communities divided by transportation infrastructure.
  • Airports, ports, and waterway - US$17bn for port infrastructure, US$25bn for  airports.
  • Resilience and western water infrastructure - >US$50bn.
  • Clean drinking water - US$55bn
  • High-speed internet - US$65bn
  • Environmental remediation - US$21bn
  • Power infrastructure - US$73bn

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