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Commercial Observer

Nicholas Rizzi, 3.31.21

President Joseph Biden will unveil a $2 trillion, eight-year infrastructure plan on Wednesday to fund improvements to the country’s neglected roadways, bridges and rail lines, according to the White House.

While the advance plans released by the White House do not detail specific projects the package will fund, a source told NJ Advance Media it includes money for the long-hoped-for Gateway rail project underneath the Hudson River.

The infrastructure package, dubbed the American Jobs Plan, includes $621 billion earmarked for transportation improvements nationwide. That includes $115 billion to repair 10,000 bridges, and 20,000 miles of highways and roads, along with $20 billion for road safety improvements.

The package also calls for $85 million to modernize public transportation systems across the country, and $80 billion to help clear out Amtrak’s repair backlog.

Part of Amtrak’s money will go toward the Gateway project, which has been long called the nation’s most vital infrastructure project, NJ Advance Media reported. The Gateway plan calls for replacing the Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River, upgrading and fixing a tunnel between New Jersey and Penn Station, and digging a new tunnel under the Hudson.

A spokesperson for Amtrak previously told Commercial Observer the estimate for Gateway is $9.8 billion for the new tunnel, $1.8 billion to repair the existing one, and $13 billion for the entire project overall.

Biden’s plan also allocates $174 billion for electric vehicles; $50 billion to make the country’s infrastructure more resistant to climate change; $25 billion for airports; $213 billion for affordable housing; and $500 million to invest in manufacturing.

The package was praised by some as a way to get Americans back to work after the coronavirus pandemic left millions unemployed, and the White House said part of the goal of the plan is to improve racial equality by offering better jobs to underserved communities.

“As our nation continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a more urgent or opportune time to pass a sweeping federal infrastructure plan to stimulate economic recovery, create jobs, and build America back stronger and more equitably than before,” Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of the New York Building Congress. “It has been proven that infrastructure investment in times of crisis can uplift our country, and a comprehensive national infrastructure plan will allow us to fix our roads and bridges; upgrade our energy, water and broadband systems; and break ground on visionary construction projects across the United States.”

To pay for the infrastructure package, Biden wants to increase the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent for 15 years, which could be a hard sell for Republican politicians.

Published on

Mar 31, 2021 by New York Building Congress