Washington DC

DC Begins Major Infrastructure Projects

Crews are working on replacing the District's street lights and lead pipes

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D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser joined a top member of President Joe Biden's administration on Wednesday to highlight how D.C. will spend hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure money from the federal government.

Projects include replacing the city's old lead pipes and outdated street lights.

While some work has already begun, other projects will take years to complete.

Bowser took White House Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu for a walk across a new pedestrian bridge that cross Interstate 295 to highlight how infrastructure funds will be used to connect commuters divided by freeways.

"Highways that have cut through African American communities and disconnected people from jobs and food and opportunities," Bowser said.

A local task force is developing a plan for how to better connect neighborhoods divided by highways. The task force is planning community meetings and accepting input from residents, city officials said.

In 2021, the pedestrian bridge collapsed after a truck hit it.

Bowser also signed off on a bond deal Wednesday that will help fund new smart technology street lights that include WiFi hot spots.

"Seventy-five thousand lights will help illuminate our streets, make them safer for people walking and biking and people playing with their kids," Bowser said.

It will take about two years to replace the street lights. In addition, lead pipes throughout D.C. are set to be replaced by 2030.

While each project impacts the D.C.'s communities in different ways, Landrieu said all of them are "resulting in safer neighborhoods, better neighborhoods, and you know what else? High paying jobs. You can see folks in vests doing the work, getting their hands dirty and making our lives better."

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