President Joe Biden visited New Hampshire Tuesday to tout the bipartisan infrastructure deal he signed into law this week that will pump more than $1 trillion into the country's arteries.
Biden walked across the the Pemigewasset River Bridge in Woodstock amid light snow and discussed how the infrastructure deal will help upgrade roads, bridges and other critical parts of the nation.
"This isn't some gigantic bill -- it is, but it's about what happens to ordinary people," Biden said, addressing things like "how do I cross a bridge in a snowstorm?"
Built in 1939, the bridge has been on the state’s “red list” since 2014 because of its poor condition. Biden noted that there are more than 200 bridges that have been deemed structurally unsafe in New Hampshire alone.
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Biden credited New Hampshire's congressional delegation, four Democrats who traveled with the president to Woodstock Tuesday, for pushing helping to shape the bill and push it over the finish line.
He pointed out it's already cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to "Band-Aid the bridge," but the new law provides permanent fixes. Biden also mentioned millions more dollars New Hampshire will get for airports and replacing public transit vehicles.
Biden may be seeking a political boost by visiting the Granite State. Woodstock is a small town in what's historically been a swing state, and Democrats want to retain voters ahead of what will likely be close races for Congress in 2022.
Among the few dozen people who came to the event to support or protest Biden, views on the infrastructure bill were divided.
Biden flew in and out of Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. Gov. Chris Sununu, who has been critical of the president of late but last week ruled out a run for Senate in 2022, welcomed Biden to New Hampshire at the airport.
Sununu has criticized Biden's workplace vaccine mandate and also said he sent a letter to the president on Tuesday about some of the challenges facing the Granite State.
“Ensuring that roads get built, bridges get repaired, and drinking water gets improved will be even more challenging given the economic challenges Washington seems oblivious to,” Sununu said in a statement.
Under the funding formula in the bill, New Hampshire will receive $1.1 billion for federal-aid highways and $225 million for bridges, the White House said.
Congress passed the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package two weeks ago. The White House has said the new law will reach virtually every corner of the country and the investments will add about 2 million jobs per year over the coming decade.
Biden signed the bill on Monday, marking the largest federal investment in infrastructure in more than a decade.
The legislation includes about $550 billion in new funding for transportation, utilities and broadband. It also invests $110 billion into roads, bridges and other major projects, directs $66 billion toward passenger and freight rail and $39 billion into public transit.
The bill will invest $65 billion in expanding broadband access. It will put $55 billion into water systems, including lead pipe replacements. The legislation also includes a provision for cryptocurrency tax reporting.
Lawmakers have tried and failed for years to pass such a comprehensive bill to upgrade the nation's utilities and surface transportation infrastructure. The White House and many other leading Democrats say the bill will ease pesky supply-chain disruptions and keep prices from soaring even higher.
While 13 House Republicans helped the bill clear the chamber, its fate had been uncertain for much of the fall. Fierce debate between progressive and centrist Democrats, which centered on the bill's passage in tandem with the separate Build Back Better plan, threatened to derail the infrastructure plan.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.