1 of 3 | President Joe Biden talks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. before his departure to Duluth, Minn. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo
March 2 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden traveled to Wisconsin and Minnesota on Wednesday to speak about the impact of the bipartisan infrastructure law and how it will repair crumbling roads and create jobs.
Delivering remarks at the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus, Biden reiterated some of the points he made during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night as he sold the importance of the legislation.
"Now after years of talking about infrastructure, we're finally getting it done," he said.
"By the way, instead of having an infrastructure week, we're going to have an infrastructure decade."
Biden described the law as "the most sweeping investment to rebuild America in history."
"America used to have the best roads, bridges and airports on Earth," he said, repeating a line in his State of the Union speech the night prior. "Now our infrastructure is ranked 13th in the world."
The president and his motorcade made an impromptu stop at the Blatnik Bridge in Duluth, Minn., one of 661 bridges in Minnesota and 979 in Wisconsin described as being in poor condition.
Wisconsin and Minnesota hope to rebuild the Blatnik Bridge -- originally built in 1961 -- by 2028 at a cost of $1.8 billion, Wisconsin Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson said.
During his speech, Biden referenced the January collapse of Fern Hollow Bridge in Pittsburgh as he noted his administration has announced $40 billion in funding for bridge improvement throughout the nation. He said the infrastructure law provides $5.4 billion for bridges and highways in Wisconsin along with $4.8 billion for Minnesota.
He added that the programs would seek to hire Americans to complete the jobs using U.S. steel.
"This legislation is about much more than the bridge -- or the bridges -- it's about opportunity. Across the region and across the country. Investing in your port, your airport and more," he said.
Biden also visited the city of Superior, which is located in far northern Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Superior.
During a trip to Ohio last month, Biden said that $1 billion from the infrastructure law would help clean up polluted Great Lakes sites, including four in Wisconsin.
One of those Wisconsin sites along the St. Louis River has been designated as one of the 43 most polluted sites on the Great Lakes -- due mainly to contamination from decades of industry along the Twin Ports waterfront.
In the battleground state of Wisconsin, Biden is partly looking for a reset after seeing his approval ratings dip to the lowest point of his presidency. His approval rating has ticked up since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In Wisconsin, Democrats are eyeing the seat of Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, who's up for re-election in November, as the party aims to keep control of the Senate.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel kept Biden's low approval ratings in her sights ahead of the visit.
"Pledging to spend more taxpayer dollars while hardworking Americans are forced to pay skyrocketing prices for everyday goods proves just how out-of-touch Biden and Democrats are with the American people," she said.