Biden touts infrastructure proposal in New York
New York, Jan 31 (EFE).- President Joe Biden on Tuesday traveled to New York City to promote his big proposal to improve infrastructure around the country presenting new financing for the construction of a rail tunnel between the Big Apple and neighboring New Jersey.
Biden announced federal funding of $292 million for the project, which includes rehabilitating a tunnel completed in 1910 and the start of construction on another one, all with the aim of improving connections between the two banks of the Hudson River, which tens of thousands of workers cross each day.
The project has been delayed for years due to financing problems and political battles, and calculations are that, in all, it could cost some $16 billion.
The funding announced on Tuesday comes from a bill to finance big projects via which some $1.2 billion has already been disbursed and the construction of the tunnel is also part of a broader plan to modernize the important northeastern US rail corridor.
“This is just the beginning. It’s the beginning of finally constructing a 21st century rail system that’s long, long overdue in this country. This project is critical to transforming the Northeast Corridor, increasing speeds, capacity, reliability and safety,” said Biden, who in 2021 pushed the bipartisan infrastructure law through Congress, an enormous federal investment project that is one of his administration’s biggest legislative achievements.
The project “will result in 72,000 good-paying jobs, rehabilitate the old North River Tunnel which opened in 1910, build a new tunnel beneath the Palisades, Hudson River, and the waterfront area in Manhattan, and improve reliability for 200,000-weekday passengers on New Jersey Transit and Amtrak,” the White House said.
The US president this week is promoting the results of this law at a time when Republicans are looking to cut budget allocations, above all in the areas of Social Security and health care.
Besides New York, Biden on Monday visited another infrastructure project in Baltimore and is also scheduled to travel to Philadelphia in the coming days.
In his speech on Tuesday, the president once again emphasized his support for US industry and manufacturing and stressed the vital role of the middle class and the unions for the US economy, anticipating that this could become the main pillar of his 2024 reelection campaign, which he is expected to formally launch in the coming weeks.