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Biden touts infrastructure bill from NH bridge; visit met with mixed reviews

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 5:45 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2021 at 6:31 PM EST
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WOODSTOCK, N.H. (WCAX) - On a deteriorating bridge in Woodstock, New Hampshire, President Joe Biden tried to rally support for his newly signed bipartisan infrastructure deal.

“This isn’t esoteric. This isn’t some gigantic bill. It is, but it’s about what happens to ordinary people. Conversations around kitchen tables that are both profound as they are ordinary,” the president said.

The last time Biden was in New Hampshire was the night of the 2020 presidential primary where he finished a distant fifth.

Tuesday’s visit came with a much more celebratory tone as the president touted the benefits of the $1.2 trillion package.

Biden used a “red list” New Hampshire bridge in Woodstock that will benefit from new funding as the backdrop, a day after signing the infrastructure bill into law.

New bridges, roads, clean drinking water infrastructure and broadband systems will be built across the country as a result.

They are projects the town of Bristol has been tackling for years thanks to local, state and federal partnerships.

“As soon as we upgraded the road and created a town green, private investors came in after and they invested in those buildings and upgraded those buildings to make them beautiful livable spaces,” Bristol Town Administrator Nicholas Coates said.

Road were blocked off leading up to Biden’s visit, which also brought lights, cameras and action.

“We see them in New Hampshire. We see everybody,” said Mary Beaudin, who drove over from Landaff to show her support for the president. “And I knew a bunch of fools would be here yelling, ‘Let’s go, Brandon,’ and I wanted to thank Biden for what he has done.”

Some anti-Biden protesters also made their voices heard.

“I feel like it’s a waste of our money; he’s already spent trillions,” said Marcia Thomas of Woodstock.

Thomas lives right around the corner from the bridge that’s in need of repairs.

“I voted for my children and my grandchildren because I won’t be around when they are stuck paying for all of this in the future,” Thomas said.

But it’s not just about infrastructure. A provision in the plan aims to address supply chain issues and the nationwide truck driver shortage.

“Young people who want to be truckers who right now have to wait until they get to be 21 before they can go across state lines. There’s a provision to provide training for that to start earlier,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire.

And with all that investment, comes a lot of jobs. The White House estimates the package will create 2 million jobs a year for the next 10 years.

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