Portman Cincinnati Enquirer Op-Ed: Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill can help Greater Cincinnati

November 16, 2021 | Portman Difference

In a new op-ed for the Cincinnati Enquirer, Senator Portman discusses how his bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act makes common-sense investments to fix and upgrade our nation’s, specifically Cincinnati’s, infrastructure, without raising taxes or adding to inflation.

As Portman details, the bipartisan infrastructure bill will provide significant help in the Greater Cincinnati area – it finally provides the tools to fix the Brent Spence Bridge, contains funding for nationwide broadband expansion that could be used for several ongoing public-private broadband expansion projects in Southwest Ohio, and provides funding to upgrade airports that can be used for needed improvements to the runways, terminals, and air control towers at the CVG and Dayton airports.

Excerpts of the op-ed can be found below and the full op-ed can be found here.

Bipartisan infrastructure bill can help Greater Cincinnati

By U.S. Senator Rob Portman

Cincinnati Enquirer

Ohioans rely on our nation’s infrastructure every day. Whether it’s commuting to work, connecting to the internet, buying something online that depends on our ports, our freight rail, our airports, or our highways, or simply flipping a light switch and depending on the lights coming on, the hard assets that link our state and country together are essential for our businesses, farmers, workers, families, and communities.

Based on my conversations with Ohioans about the need to fix crumbling infrastructure, it was no surprise to me that recent polls from CNBC and CBS News both found that 87% of the public backs bipartisan efforts to invest in our infrastructure. People get it.

The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act will provide significant help in the Greater Cincinnati area. Ohio will receive $9.2 billion to help with roads and highways and $483 million to help with our bridges, helping finish key projects like the I-275 Smart Lane in Clermont County. Importantly, it finally gives us the tools to fix the Brent Spence Bridge.

As we all know, Brent Spence is a critical connector for our region and the national economy, but it doesn’t come close to meeting our traffic demands. The new infrastructure bill contains $33.5 billion in available grant funding that could be directed toward regionally significant infrastructure projects like Brent Spence.

Elsewhere, some of the $65 billion included in the bill for nationwide broadband expansion could be used for several ongoing public-private broadband expansion projects in Southwest Ohio, including in the Miami Valley in cities like Dayton and Trotwood, which will help connect underserved communities and residents working from home, completing online schooling, and even tele-health appointments. And some of the $25 billion in grant funding for upgrading airports can be used for needed improvements to the runways and terminals and air control towers at the CVG and Dayton airports.

Importantly, economists agree this type of long-term investment in infrastructure won’t add to the surging inflation that is causing the prices of everyday goods like gas and groceries to rise. It’s no surprise that more than 100 stakeholders from all levels of government and in countless industries back our bill, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO Building Trades Council, the American Farm Bureau, and the National League of Cities, as well as local groups like the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments.

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act is good for the Greater Cincinnati area, good for our entire state and good for our nation.

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