American infrastructure to be built with American material: President Biden

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North Carolina Construction News staff writer

The White House has released proposed guidelines that will require use of American-made material in government-funded infrastructure projects.

In his State of the Union address this week President Joe Biden highlighted a plan to ensure construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects be manufactured in the United States.

The infrastructure law significantly expands standards to require government-funded infrastructure projects use more American-made iron, steel, construction materials and manufactured products.

The goal is to ensure U.S.-made lumber, glass, drywall, fiber optic cables and other materials are purchased in the U.S.

“On my watch, American roads, American bridges, and American highways are going to be made with American products,” Biden said. “When we do these projects … we’re going to buy American,” Biden said. “It’s totally consistent with international trade rule.”

The proposed guidelines “will strengthen implementation of domestic content standards, while also improving federal financial assistance management, consistency, transparency, and oversight,” according to a White House fact sheet.

Manufacturing processes for construction material must occur in the United States, including standards for “plastic and polymer-based products, glass (including optic glass), lumber, and drywall.

In a statement, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the president is on the right track.

“This president’s focus on working people is exactly what the nation needs, and his focus on helping Americans care for their children, provide for their families, and put money in their wallets will resonate from coast to coast,” Adams said. “The agenda he laid out goes hand-in-hand with what we are doing in New York City — this is a blue-collar president, I’m a blue-collar mayor, and we’re both pursuing a blue-collar agenda for working people in New York and across the rest of the nation.

Biden also updated progress on infrastructure spending since last year.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law  includes the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system. Based on formula funding , North Carolina is expected to receive about $7.8 billion over five years in federal funding for highways and bridges.

To date, $3 billion has been announced in North Carolina for roads, bridges, roadway safety, and major projects including:

  • $2.8 billion in highway formula funding and $197.4 million in dedicated
    formula funding for bridges in 2022 and 2023.
  • $60.2 million through the RAISE program, $100 million through the INFRA
    program, and $10.4 million through the Rural Surface Transportation
    Grant Program in 2022 and 2023.

Click the links to view fact sheets outline progress on local infrastructure spending in North Carolina and South Carolina.

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