WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure package called "The American Jobs Plan" could do much good in Virginia, where long-neglected road projects and other infrastructure needs are numerous.
2,124 miles of highways and 577 bridges in Virginia are in poor condition, according to a report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers, released Monday by the White House.
While the report does not assign an overall grade to the state, it does say, "For decades, infrastructure in Virginia has suffered from a systemic lack of investment."
Among the findings:
- Since 2011, commute times have increased by 7.7 percent on average in Virginia.
- Each driver pays $517 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair.
- Virginians who take public transportation spend an extra 72.2 percent of their time commuting.
- From 2010 to 2020, Virginia has experienced 40 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $10 billion in damages.
- 500,000 renters in Virginia spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent, and are said to be "rent-burdened."
"Putting sizeable, long-term, tangible capital investment into our infrastructure, the time has come," said Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia).
He is especially concerned about the 9.7 percent of Virginians who live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure.
"It is incumbent on us, not saying everything in the Biden plan is perfect, and I intend to make some fairly dramatic changes in that plan," he said. "But doing nothing would be an option that would be a disaster for our country."
Virginia's 780,000 military veterans stand to benefit from The American Jobs plan, with $18 billion set aside to improve the infrastructure of VA health care facilities.