Need for improved infrastructure vividly illustrated as a bridge collapses ahead of Biden speech



In remarks on the bill just two weeks ago, President Biden had this to say:

“My Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes the largest investment in our nation’s bridges since the creation of the Interstate Highway System.  Bridges to connect us. Bridges to make America work. Across our country right now, there are 45,000 bridges—45,000—that are in poor condition.”

Those bridges, said Biden, were in all 50 states. It’s not clear at this moment if that 45,000 included the bridge that collapsed in Pittsburgh on Friday morning, but it is certainly a vivid illustration of the need for this bill.

In addition to talking about infrastructure, Biden is also expected to talk about the return of American manufacturing. Over the past year, the economy has added 367,000 manufacturing jobs. The White House has also pointed out some big new plant announcements—including a new General Motors electric vehicle plant in Michigan and a new Intel chip refractory being built in Ohio. Unlike many of the plants that Donald Trump liked to brag about, these look to be real plants, hiring real people.

Biden can also be expected to draw a line between the need to restore manufacturing to the U.S. and the supply chain issues that have been highly visible during the pandemic. The need for manufacturing never went away. It’s just that companies decided to ship the jobs offshore to save marginal amounts of money. The result was not just a loss of American jobs and cities left to deal with closed manufacturing sites, but an increasingly fragile economy where American companies were dependent on outsourced parts, outsourced assembly, and long distance shipping. The result has seen situations like thousands of American cars sitting in parking lots around plants, waiting for parts from overseas.

Infrastructure plans—which include not just bridges, but investments in ports and railways—are also a significant part of addressing the supply chain issue for the future, as well as a means of creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in the near term.


Source link