SUPERIOR, Wisc. — While keeping a close eye on the situation in Ukraine, President Joe Biden hit the road Wednesday for Wisconsin, less than 24-hours after his State of the Union speech.
President Biden talked up his trillion-dollar infrastructure plan passed by Congress to fix aging bridges, like the Blatnik Bridge that connects Duluth and Superior.
"Instead of infrastructure week, we are going to have an infrastructure decade," he said.
The Biden Administration estimates $5.4 billion will flow to Wisconsin over 10 years for infrastructure needs, with the president joking he didn't want anyone to miss getting to Packers -Vikings games.
"There are 979 bridges in Wisconsin, 661 bridges in Minnesota in poor condition, along with 7,000 miles between the two states that need repair," he said. "Now after years of talking about infrastructure, we are finally getting it done."
Wisconsin will also get $250 million to replace lead laterals. Milwaukee is hoping to get a big tranche of those dollars. But, it will not be enough to replace all lead service lines in the city. That is estimated to cost $750 million.
"That legislation is going to allow us to replace all the lead pipes in this country so every child can turn on a faucet at home or in school and drink clean water," said Biden.
Republican Congressman Bryan Steil was not at the speech, but criticized President Biden for promoting what he called a massive spending bill passed last year.
Steil says the president should be focusing on addressing rising energy costs.
"Considering our ever-rising gas and home heating costs, it’s unfortunate that President Biden did not take this opportunity to focus on domestic energy infrastructure,” he said.
A new Marquette Law School poll finds President Biden's approval rating in Wisconsin, almost exactly the same as it was last fall. Forty-three percent of respondents approve of Biden's performance, while 52% disapproved.