Our new President may be making everyone excited by shutting down Gitmo, but The New York Times reported earlier this week there's been some disappointment, well, a lot of disappointment, with President Obama's grand infrastructure proposal, the plan to bring California (and the rest of the country) better transportation via job creation. Better sit down for this one.
As the details of the plan come into focus, big transformative building projects seem unlikely. And the plan does not begin to provide the kind of money that civil engineers believe is needed to bring the nation’s aging bridges and water systems and roads and transit systems to a state of good repair. Less than one-third of the $825 billion plan that was introduced Thursday in the House would go to infrastructure, and much of that would go to high-tech projects, rather than traditional concrete-and-steel building and repair work. The rest would go to tax cuts and aid to help states pay for health care and education. At a time when the American Society of Civil Engineers has estimated that $1.6 trillion is needed to improve the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, the proposal calls for spending $30 billion on roads and, to the consternation of transit advocates, only $10 billion on transit and rail. With the requirement that the money be spent quickly, smaller projects will take precedent over larger projects, while highways will get three times as much aid as rail and transit systems, according to one expert quoted by the paper. But the Times does use a lot of "howevers" and "perhaps" so maybe there's some wiggle room and this will play out differently.
· House Plan for Infrastructure Disappoints Advocates for Major Projects [NY Times]