CLEVELAND — President Joe Biden will be in Ohio on Thursday, arriving at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in the morning and traveling to the Shipyards in Lorain where he is planned to deliver remarks in the afternoon.
The president is expected to talk about the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill signed last November. The measures in the bill are designed to help create high-paying union jobs, address the climate crisis and grow the economy, the president has said.
Combined with the Build Back Better Act, also signed last November, the administration has earmarked about $3 trillion to provide an overhaul of the country’s infrastructure, while funding education, health care and social programs, and fighting climate change.
The bills are essentially designed to help strengthen the middle class. A blue-collar state, Ohio’s economy at one time was powered by an industrial base of auto makers, rubber manufacturers and steel mills that generated high-paying jobs.
The infrastructure bill includes $550 billion for improvements to roads and bridges and water infrastructure across the country, as well as funds to expand high-speed internet to underserved rural communities.
The bill also invests in public transit and passenger rail, and electric vehicle infrastructure for cars and buses.
Earlier this week, during an appearance at the National Association of Counties 2022 Legislative Conference, Biden said the infrastructure bill is expected to create 2 million jobs per year over the next decade.
Over the next five years, Ohio will receive nearly $1.3 billion from the bill through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration for improvements in public transportation, new bus and railcar acquisitions, facility upgrades and job creation, said Congressman Tim Ryan, a Democrat who represents Ohio’s 13th District.
Ryan called call the infrastructure bill “the largest transit investment in American history.”
Ohio’s rural and urban transit providers are set to receive $260 million this year, he said, with $73.5 million available now, and the rest allocated over the course of the year.
A recent report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Assoc. (ARTBA) ranked Ohio in 10th place out of 50 states for number of bridges in poor condition in 2022.
The ARTBA recommends 1,170 Ohio bridges be replaced at a cost of $703.3 million.
In the report, six of the top most traveled bridges in Ohio that are ranked structurally deficient are in Cuyahoga County, with two in Franklin County. Hamilton and Stark counties each have one bridge ranked deficient.
Overall, the report found 36% of bridges in the U.S. require major repair, with 78,800 requiring replacement. The infrastructure bill is expected to disburse about $27.5 billion over five years to states for bridge repair or replacement.
Clean energy initiatives also are included in the bill, which through the U.S. Department of Energy allocates more than $9 billion for hydrogen infrastructure, including creating regional clean hydrogen hubs to expand use of hydrogen in the industrial sector. Clean hydrogen can reduce emissions in processes like steel manufacturing.
As part of that initiative, a new Buy Clean Task Force will be created to promote use of low-carbon materials in projects the infrastructure bill funds.
The infrastructure bill also includes $1.5 billion for state wildlife agencies to protect the natural environment.