On Tuesday, President Donald Trump sought for bipartisanship on rebuilding the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges. “Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need,” he said during his first State of the Union address. His infrastructure agenda envisions a public infusion of $200 billion which could be used to attract private sector investment, along with state and local spending. He also sought the bill to cut down on project permitting and approval time to less than two years.
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President Donald Trump made a fresh plea Tuesday night for bipartisanship on rebuilding the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges. “Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need,” he said during his first State of the Union address.
The push for infrastructure spending underscores the urgent need to rebuild our nation’s aging bridges, highways, airports, and tunnels. About 54,259 of the 612,677 bridges in the U.S. are “structurally deficient,” according to a report released by American Road & Transportation Builders Association this week. Americans cross these deficient bridges 174 million times a day. For example, Pennsylvania understood a massive program to rebuild its aging bridges.
President Trump’s infrastructure agenda envisions a public investment of $200 billion that could be used to attract private-sector as well as state and local spending. “Every federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with state and local governments and — where appropriate — tapping into private sector investment to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit,” he said. The Goethals Bridge in New York is being built by a public-private partnership.
President Trump also urged Congress to simplify the regulatory process for infrastructure projects that, in some cases take up to ten years, to approve. “Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process – getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one,” he said. For example, permitting the desalination plant in San Diego began in 2003 and was completed, after 14 legal challenges, in 2012. It finally opened in December, 2015.
President Trump concluded his infrastructure agenda by envisioning a stronger, brighter America. “Together, we can reclaim our building heritage. We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land. And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit,” he said.