State and local leaders discuss where to spend infrastructure money

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — County and state leaders gathered in Scranton Tuesday to share their thoughts on the impact of the new infrastructure bill.

States are on the verge of receiving billions of dollars to improve their infrastructure.

“This historic investment comes with the responsibility though. That we never revert back to standing still,” said Senator Kyle Mullins of the 112th District.

Proposed investments in Pennsylvania over five years include $11.3 billion for highways, $1.6 billion for bridge replacement and repairs, $2.8 billion to improve public transportation, $171 million for electric vehicle charging stations, and $100 million for broadband improvements with the total amount nearing $16 billion.

“We’re hoping some of these dollars might be able to help with our storm water issues. There is a lot of things we need to do under the ground before we better permanently repair the roads,” said Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti.

IBEW Local 81 business manager Mike McDermott says the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are working to secure as many jobs as the union can.

“The U.S. infrastructure ranks 13th in the world in quality. While we are the richest nation, this area has thousands of local union men and women that are dying to get out to work. Making a family-sustaining wage and benefits,” said McDermott.

“It’s a huge deal to vastly improve the everyday lives of all Americans. The impacts that this deal can not be overstated. It’s going to affect every single one of us, every single day,” said Flynn.

The bill still has to be passed in the House before Pennsylvania allocates the money to specific projects.

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