Chao Fills in Some Details of Trump Infrastructure Plan

By on May 16, 2017

From Engineering News-Record:  The outlines of President Trump’s promised $1-trillion, 10-year infrastructure initiative are coming into clearer focus. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has provided more information about the plan, saying states and localities that bring their own funding and financing to the table will get priority in receiving the additional federal dollars the proposal will contain.

Speaking at a May 15 Infrastructure Week kickoff event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., Chao also confirmed earlier administration comments that the package will propose $200 billion in direct federal funding, which it hopes will trigger another $800 billion in private financing. She also said officials “in coming weeks”  will unveil the “vision of what the infrastructure plan wll look like.”

John Porcari, president of advisory services for WSP USA, told ENR at the conference, “It’s encouraging that the secretary is talking about a combination of things in an infrastructure package, including new [federal] funding, additional funding, which is an essential element for any multi-year, sustained infrastructure program.”

Porcari, a former deputy transportation secretary in the Obama administration, says, “We need to build on the stability of the FAST Act, and ramp it up. And having a sustained increased federal government financial contribution will be a very important signal to projects around the country.” (He was referring to the five-year surface transportation authorization measure enacted last December.)

Terry O’Sullivan, general president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, says of the upcoming Trump plan, “We’re extremely interested to see what that looks like. Obviously, we’re a pro-infrastructure union.”

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