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As President Biden looks on, AFL-CIO President Elizabeth Shuler promotes infrastructure legislation at the White House on Sept. 8.

With President Biden’s signature (witnessed by several MTD Executive Board Members) on November 15, the long-awaited bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is the law of the land.

Passed by the Senate in August and the House of Representatives on November 5, the measure calls for more than a trillion dollars in federal expenditures to improve transportation, schools, broadband, drinking water and other needed repairs and upgrades to the nation’s infrastructure.

“The passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a monumental political and legislative accomplishment,” stated AFL-CIO President Elizabeth Shuler. “After decades of delay and decline, America’s workers stand ready to rebuild our country.”

As noted by the AFL-CIO, the legislation includes:

$110 billion to rebuild 173,000 miles of roads and 45,000 bridges;

$66 billion to upgrade the nation’s rail service;

$65 billion to expand broadband access, especially in rural areas;

$55 billion for safe, clean drinking water, including replacing lead pipes;

$39 billion for public transit; and

$42 billion for port and airport repairs.

With regard to the nation’s ports, the Biden administration reported the legislation taps $17 billion “to improve infrastructure at coastal ports, inland ports and waterways, and land ports of entry along the border. These resources will deliver near-term assistance and make long-term investments to strengthen supply chain resiliency.”

The White House added the bill “is the single largest federal investment in our ports in U.S. history.” The Army Corps of Engineers is expected to identify projects at coastal ports and inland waterways with 60 days with “more than $4 billion in funding to repair outdated infrastructure and to deepen harbors for larger cargo ships.”

The AFL-CIO added the measure “is fully paid for and doesn’t add a dime to the deficit. The vast majority of expenditures are subject to prevailing wage laws, ensuring skilled local workers earn a fair return for their hard work.”