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Senator Tina Smith talks with WTIP ahead of vote on infrastructure bill

According to a 2019 Minnesota Department of Transportation bridge survey, more than 22 percent of the bridges on local roadways are considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Bridges with this condition status are considered unsafe and a safety hazard, according to Cook County Highway Engineer Robbie Hass.

To address this issue and the needs of counties and local governments across the nation, the United States Senate is on track to give final approval to the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan, with a growing coalition of Democrats and Republicans prepared to lift the first phase of President Joe Biden’s rebuilding agenda to passage.

Final Senate votes are expected around 10 a.m. CST Tuesday, and the bill would then go to the House.

All told, some 70 senators appear poised to carry the bipartisan package to passage, a potentially robust tally of lawmakers eager to tap the billions in new spending for their states and to show voters back home they can deliver.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Sen. Tina Smith from her office in Washington D.C. Aug. 10, just hours ahead of a potential vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The audio below is their conversation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.