PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — President Joe Biden will visit Portland on Thursday, April 21, to speak about investments being made from the recent infrastructure bill, according to the White House.
Details are scarce on where in the city and what time his visit will take place. The President will travel to Seattle on Friday, April 22, which is Earth Day. The White House said in a release that Biden will talk about, “his Administration’s efforts to continue bringing down costs for American families and growing our clean energy economy.”
Back in November, Congress passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and it was announced that Oregon and Washington were going to receive billions of dollars in federal funding.
“This really is an exciting time,” said Katherine Benenati, a spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) in November. “We want to put these dollars to use as soon as possible.”
Oregon estimated it would receive about $1.2 billion over the next five years and Washington anticipated it would get roughly $1.8 billion for similar projects. Oregon said in November it was considering the I-5 Bridge and the Rose Quarter highway redesign project as candidates for a big portion of the funds.
In March, Washington State announced a transportation package that included $1 billion for a new I-5 bridge.
“For those of us who rely on this bridge daily, every day can be a bad day. Today, however, is a good day. A great day,” Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, said in a statement in May. “Because today we are stepping forward with a $1 billion commitment to work hand in hand with our partners in Oregon and in the federal government — a commitment that makes us eligible for billions in federal infrastructure funds that will come back into our community.”
The total price tag for the I-5 bridge is currently estimated to fall between $3.2 billion and $4.8 billion, with about $1 billion expected to come from each of the two states and the remainder coming from federal grant programs and tolling.
It is unclear whether Biden and local officials will address this project, or any others funded by federal dollars, during his visit.