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Infrastructure real focus

President Biden’s administration released its Infrastructure Report Card this week, as part of its push to persuade lawmakers to approve trillions of dollars on infrastructure.

There is no doubt an infrastructure bill is needed, and its impact could be especially beneficial in the local area.

The report card gives Ohio a grade of C-, saying “In Ohio there are 1,377 bridges and over 4,925 miles of highway in poor condition.”

It says that over the next two decades, Ohio’s drinking water infrastructure will require $13.4 billion.

The report discusses broadband access, and infrastructure that has been damaged by major weather events.

But then it ventures into caregiving, child care, manufacturing, home energy, clean energy jobs and veterans health.

These are important topics, and present challenges Ohioans know they must face. But they are not infrastructure.

Locally, there are plenty of infrastructure needs. Weather-related slips and heavy truck traffic on roads not designed for the wear and tear of the gas and oil industry are prime examples of repairs that need to be completed in our region. Communities such as St. Clairsville face major challenges related to drinking water and sewage treatment.

There are areas across our region where internet services is slow or nonexistent. So, we easily can see the need for this effort.

Biden’s report is called “American Jobs Plan: The Need for Action in Ohio.”

It is full of data that should, indeed, be worrying to Buckeye State residents.

It should not prompt members of Congress to give the green light for a bill that amounts to a wish list for which no one has explained how we will pay.

That means letting Ohio’s delegation know where we draw the line.

Roads, bridges, drinking water, broadband … those are infrastructure challenges we must address.

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