Shortly after Air Force One landed on the tarmac at Boston’s Logan International Airport Monday morning, President Joe Biden said the federal infrastructure law his administration is implementing would be “the investment most important” since President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s plan for the Interstate Highway. system in the 1950s and will launch “a decade of infrastructure” from coast to coast.
The president spoke at Terminal E in Logan, where a major renovation and sustainability project is underway, after a parade of local elected officials celebrated the roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill that Biden signed legislation in November that is expected to provide about $9.5 billion to Massachusetts. over five years.
“For most of the last century, we have dominated the world by a significant margin because we have invested in our people and we have invested in our infrastructure. We have invested in ourselves, but along the way we have We were previously ranked number one in the world in investment in research and development as part of our GDP, number one in the world. Now we rank eighth. China was once ranked number… nine, excuse me, and now it ranks number two in the world,” Biden said. “We risk losing our edge as a nation to China and the rest of the world catching up with us. It stops now, with investments like the ones we are celebrating here today.”
Before Biden took the stage a little after noon, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker expressed his “gratitude and appreciation for his leadership and the work done by those who crossed party lines to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill. “. The governor said the law and the unanimous votes in Beacon Hill to put in place matching funds and state authorizations to take advantage of federal funds were “a wonderful example of what can happen when we work together on a whole of shared goals and opportunities and that we put purpose behind our efforts.”
In thanking people once on stage, the Democratic president seemed to approve of Baker’s political style and his focus on politics rather than politics or personality.
“Governor Baker, thank you for your partnership over the years. I said to the guv, I hope this doesn’t hurt your reputation, guv, but, you know, when I started, we were all like you and I; get along, take care of each other, treat each other decently,” the president said. “We can disagree, but straight away. We have to get back to that kind of politics.”
Governor Charlie Baker met with President Joe Biden and five other state governors on Tuesday to discuss best practices as the United States aims to join Massachusetts with 70% of adults at least partially immunized.
Logan’s Terminal E, the international terminal, was chosen as the location for Biden’s remarks, in part because ongoing upgrades to the airport are backed by $50 million from the federal infrastructure, the White House said. The project — an addition of about 320,000 square feet, renovations to an existing building and the creation of four new aircraft doors — is creating about 5,900 jobs, the White House said.
“This is an investment that will preserve Boston’s legacy as a gateway to and for the world,” Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said. “As we fight climate change, let’s cure cancer and demonstrate what it means to be a city to everyone here in boston infrastructure remains the foundation of everything we do it’s the surfaces we travel on, the systems that provide our electricity and water , the spaces we work, live and play in. We need to start investing and planning for the future without the false choices of growth or health, business or workers, jobs or our planet. and have to achieve all of this because this is what our families and communities deserve.”
In addition to the billions of dollars that federal law will direct to Massachusetts in the coming years, even more will be made available through competitive grants. Massachusetts hopes to take advantage of new federal funding opportunities with its own $11.4 billion infrastructure bond package that Baker signed into law last month.
In addition to the state’s $11.4 billion investment, Baker said when he signed the bond bill, the state’s effort “will also advance major projects in cities and villages across the state by providing matching funds that will allow Massachusetts to compete for funding” through the federal government. right.
“In summary, the bipartisan infrastructure act essentially doubles the annual level of federal funding we planned to receive over the next five years. And this increased spending on existing competitive grant programs also creates opportunities to invest in new programs that were also part of this legislation,” Baker told Logan on Monday.
The state’s infrastructure bond bill included $400 million for immediate security improvements at the T, and U.S. Representative Seth Moulton on Monday morning pointed to the differences between the nearly $700 million Terminal E project dollars to Logan and work done during the month-long shutdown of MBTA’s Orange Line.
The Orange Line is expected to remain closed until September 19 and the MBTA says 66% of the work has been completed.
“Let’s put this investment into perspective today. The reconstruction of Terminal E is a $700 million project that we need for the five and a half million passengers who use this terminal each year. It’s an investment of $140 per passenger. the entire orange line is closed for 30 days in reconstruction for a project that cost $198 million. That’s an investment in annual passengers on that orange line of $3.15,” Moulton said. “So $140 for international travelers to Logan and $3.15 for all the workers building that terminal…the fact is we need to do more.”
Others who spoke to Logan before Biden included Senate Speaker Karen Spilka, Senator Lydia Edwards and U.S. Representatives Jake Auchincloss, Lori Trahan, Bill Keating, Stephen Lynch, Katherine Clark and Ayanna Pressley, the CEO of MassPort Lisa Wieland and US Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren.
Massachusetts has received a lot of attention from the Biden administration in recent weeks. Biden visited Somerset in July to highlight the environmental and economic promise of offshore wind, Vice President Kamala Harris called the Bay State a ‘model’ for protecting reproductive rights during a an August visit to Dorchester, then returned on Labor Day for a union breakfast.
Some of that attention may be due to the state’s congressional delegation, a group of all Democrats whom Biden singled out for praise on Monday.
“What a congressional delegation, holy God. I can’t do anything without checking the delegation, you know what I mean? It’s the most powerful and talented delegation, I think, in the country,” he said. -he declares.