Finally, “Infrastructure Week” is no longer a punchline. As President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion bill into law Monday, he kicked off the biggest spending program in more than a decade to build and rebuild the nation’s essential infrastructure.
Over the coming years, the U.S. will significantly ramp up construction related to roads, bridges, water systems, broadband, ports and the power grid. These are the kinds of bread-and-butter government projects that are vital for the nation’s safety, well-being and economic strength. These investments will make a real impact on people’s lives by helping keep the lights on during heat waves, by expanding public transit so people can get to work without a car and by giving students reliable internet access so they can do their schoolwork.
Certainly, the bill is not as far-reaching as Biden’s initial $2.3 trillion proposal. And even that plan, while ambitious, was not enough to address the tremendous need. The U.S. has consistently underfunded infrastructure over the last half-century, and that’s created a backlog of work to keep existing transportation, water and energy systems up to date.