Biden’s infrastructure plan met with skepticism in North Alabama

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – President Biden’s recent announcement of a sweeping $2.3 trillion plan to overhaul the country’s infrastructure is being met with a dose of skepticism from a number of federal lawmakers in Alabama.

News 19 also reached out to a number of our area’s county and city officials to get their thoughts on the plan. All of them said it was too early to speculate on how the money might be spent locally.

UAH professor of engineering Michael Anderson said that’s because, “there have been some promises made and things change, and priorities get readjusted, and money gets moved here and there. They’re not all going to make the cut, and the money just doesn’t go as far as you think it does.”

In its current form, much of the plan is expected to be paid for by a large hike in corporate taxes. But at the moment just $115 billion in the package is being devoted to modernizing bridges, highways, and roads.

“I’m taking a wait and see approach,” said Rep. Robert Aderholt. “You know maybe if the Biden Administration is willing to work with Republicans we could do something to try to make sure that roads and bridges, we can do something to try to help our crumbling infrastructure,”

Meanwhile, Senator Tommy Tuberville, weighed in with this statement: “As it stands now, only 6% of the $2.25 trillion proposed actually goes to fix bridges and roads, while the rest goes to big cities on the coasts and progressive priorities, leaving rural communities behind.”

Anderson said that’s often how these plans pan out.

“Unfortunately what I think we’re going to see in this bill is that the large urban areas, that they’re going to get the bulk share of the money,” said Anderson.

The Alabama Department of Transportation also said it’s too early to speculate, with plenty already on their plate. ALDOT is currently working with a $1.4 billion budget and $6 billion in unmet state and interstate road projects.

“I think they’re doing a good job with what they have. It’s only going to get harder as the cost of maintenance keeps getting higher,” said Anderson.

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