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What will Cleveland gain now that President Biden has signed $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law?

The signing of Biden's bill paves the way for cities like Cleveland to get new money for transportation, broadband, and utilities.

CLEVELAND — On Monday, President Joe Biden made it official, signing the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill into law. Ohio's two U.S. Senators, Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, were standing nearby. 

The infrastructure package will put $550 billion in new funds into roads and bridges. It will also provide broadband access and other utlities, including electricity and water. All areas where greater Cleveland could use improvements.

"The infrastructure bill passing is good news for Northeast Ohio," says Case Western Reserve University assistant professor Michael Goldberg. "Our infrastructure here, our roads, our bridges, our sewers are 100 years old."

Goldberg adds that the region's infrastructure is crumbling, from old sewers and pipes underground, to dangerous bridges up above. 

"Cities like Cleveland, or regions like Northeast Ohio that have aging infrastructure that has been neglected hopefully will be a net winner in a bill like this," he states.

Also winners? Potentially thousands of workers who could be tapped to do jobs in the coming years, if they're willing. "It's gonna put people to work. Of course, the challenge is, given the labor shortage out there, hopefully there will be people to put to work to do these projects," says Professor Goldberg.

So how much money will be coming to Ohio and greater Cleveland?

According to Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH9), the newly passed law will deliver nearly $14 billion for Ohio. Here is a breakdown: 

  • $1 billion for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
  • $9.2 billion for highways
  • $483 million for bridges
  • $1.2 billion for public transportation 
  • $140 million for electric vehicle chargers 
  • $100 million for high-speed broadband internet 
  • $1.4 billion for clean drinking water infrastructure 
  • $253 million for airports

Ohio will also be able to apply for billions in national funding opportunities, including:

  • $17 billion for ports and waterways 
  • $3.5 billion for home and community weatherization initiatives
  • $66 billion for rail 
  • $21 billion for Superfund and brownfield sites

The Ohio Department of Transportation released a statement saying in part, "After we get some clarity from the federal government about how the funds will be distributed and can be used, we'll be working with Gov. DeWine and Lt. Gov. Husted to determine where to best invest them. Right now, it's way too early for specifics."

We do know funding is supposed to go out over a five-year period. However, it could take several months or even years before many of the major projects begin.

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