Obama Fleshes Out Plans for Infrastructure Projects

A $50 billion initial investment, national infrastructure bank and permitting streamlining sound familiar but intended to minimize need for Congressional approval

The White House fleshed out three major infrastructure themes President Obama touched on in the State of the Union address.

“Fix-it-first” is the first element of the plan, committing $40 billion of a $50 billion investment, subject to Congressional approval, to work on highways, bridges, transit systems and airports “most in need of repair.”

The White House estimates that 80 percent of the 70,000 bridges classified as “structurally deficient” in the United States could be brought up to date under the program.

The second part of the plan revives the president’s call for creation of a national infrastructure Bank, which could bring public and private financing together to plan projects. The proposal would also allow issuing new America Fast Forward bonds.

The third portion of the plan would work to eliminate red tape in permits and review for infrastructure projects.

(more on Obama’s State of the Union infrastructure proposals . . . )