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White House fact sheet highlights deficiencies in Arizona infrastructure

U.S. 60-Pinto Creek Bridge (Flickr Photo/Arizona Department of Transportation)

PHOENIX – Thousands of highway miles and dozens of bridges in Arizona are in poor condition, according to a fact sheet released by the Biden administration Monday to promote its $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal.

“For decades, infrastructure in Arizona has suffered from a systemic lack of investment. The need for action is clear,” the document says.

The White House released infrastructure fact sheets, most with a letter grade, for the 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Arizona received a grade of C. Utah, with a C-plus, got the highest grade.

The fact sheets suggest that too much infrastructure is unsafe, while highlighting the costs of extreme weather events that have become more frequent with climate change as well as dead spots for broadband and a dearth of child care options.

Arizona’s fact sheet said the state has 3,100 miles of highway and 132 bridges in poor condition.

The Grand Canyon State’s other noted infrastructure-related deficiencies include:

  • Nearly half of Arizona’s households, 45%, are in areas with just one broadband internet provider.
  • 13% of households don’t have an internet subscription.
  • The state experienced 13 extreme weather events from 2010 to 2020, costing up to $10 billion in damages.
  • 410,000 renters spend more than 30% of their income on rent because affordable housing is scarce.
  • 48% of residents live in areas considered “child care deserts.”
  • On average, low-income families spend 6-8% of their income on home energy.
  • Commute times have increased by 11% since 2011.

President Joe Biden was scheduled to meet Monday with Republican and Democratic lawmakers to sell his infrastructure wish list, aka the American Jobs Plan. He is banking that the data will confirm the everyday experiences of Americans as they bump over potholes, get trapped in traffic jams and wait for buses that almost never correspond to published schedules.

GOP lawmakers have been quick to reject the proposal. They say just a fraction of the spending goes to traditional infrastructure, as $400 billion would expand Medicaid support for caregivers.

Republican lawmakers also object to funding the package by increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and increasing the global minimum tax, among other tax changes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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