Local leaders celebrate historic infrastructure bill

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Democratic Party along with Youngstown workers and the United Steel Workers Union celebrated the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Friday.

The $1 trillion Infrastructure bill was signed by President Joe Biden on November 15.

It includes money for things such as roads, bridges, safe water, broadband internet and more. It will also bring lots of new jobs to the area.

“You’re gonna see roads, bridges, you’ll see ironworkers, you’ll see carpenters, laborers, operating engineers, plumbers and pipefitters. I mean all the way down the list. With this kind of bill to be able to put people to work and good-paying, high paying jobs that can sustain that and actually have a focus on the areas that they’re working in, to keep those tax dollars here, that’s what the best focus of it could be,” said Marty Loney, Western Reserve Building Trades president.

Initially, the president hoped to spend $2.3 trillion on infrastructure, but in order to achieve the bipartisan vote, he had to cut it down by more than half.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes about $550 billion in new spending over 10 years.

Loney says under the new act, Ohio can expect to see $9.2 billion in federal aid highway apportion programs, $483 million for bridge replacements and repairs, a minimum of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state and $1.4 billion over the next five years to improve water infrastructure.

Elizabeth Walters, Ohio Democratic Party Chair, says projects are already underway and the area can be seeing some of the impacts soon.

“This bill is a win for American workers, it is a win for our country to be able to compete against China, but we must go further,” said Jose Arroyo, United Steelworkers staff representative.

Arroyo said many manufacturing plants in the Valley are already seeing immediate dividends.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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