Trump reveals $1T infrastructure vision

By |  May 26, 2017
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via / CC BY-SA

President Donald Trump laid out his vision for a $1 trillion infrastructure package in his budget request, reports The Hill.

According to The Hill, the rebuilding plan would inject $200 billion into transportation projects over 10 years, with a goal of creating $1 trillion worth of overall investment. The spending document says the administration would meet its $1 trillion target through a mix of federal funding, incentives for private sector investment and expedited projects, The Hill adds.

President Trump’s proposal will rely on leveraging private sector investment, ensuring federal dollars are targeted toward transformative projects, shifting more services and underused capital assets to the private sector, and giving states and localities more flexibility, The Hill reports.

In addition, the administration plans to propose a number of pilot programs to explore new environmental reviews, designate a single entity to guide projects through the approval process, put some permitting into the hands of state and local governments, and make sure agencies don’t need to worry about making a permit approval “litigation proof.”

According to The Hill, the White House plans to pursue several other proposals within the infrastructure initiative, including expanding the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act to $1 billion every year, reducing tolling restrictions and more.

“Congress should give states access to one more tool in the toolbox by allowing them to toll their interstate highways specifically to rebuild them,” says Patrick Jones, executive director and CEO of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. “This wouldn’t be a mandate; no state would be required to toll their interstates. This would simply give states an option, the flexibility to choose tolling if it makes sense to them.”

Trump’s budget also includes several other transportation-related reforms, including cutting the Department of Transportation’s discretionary budget by nearly 13 percent, shifting air traffic control operations from the federal government to a nonprofit entity and expanding the Department of Veterans Affairs’ authority, The Hill reports.

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