Trump administration targeting 50 US infrastructure projects worth over $137B
- The Trump administration has compiled a preliminary list of 50 high-priority, "emergency and national security" infrastructure projects valued at more than $137 billion and has solicited the nation's governors for input, according to McClatchy DC.
- On the list, which is nearly identical to an earlier draft sent to governors, projects are broken down according to cost, job creation and whether the project generates revenue.
- To be considered for inclusion on the list, projects must have either national security or emergency public safety implications, have 30% of its design-engineering complete and be "shovel ready," be a direct-job generator and have the potential to increase U.S. manufacturing.
The Trump team began assembling the list of potential projects prior to inauguration and has solicited input from U.S. governors. The projects are in various phases of progress and range in cost from hundreds of thousands of dollars to several billion.
Officials, according to McClatchy, are focusing on the public-private partnership structure for the projects included on the list, which includes a varied sampling of airports, roads, bridges, ports and other critical transportation-related projects across the U.S. for consideration. See the full list of projects here.
The list's focus on potential public-private partnerships echoes calls from Trump and Congressional Republicans to rely heavily on private investment to improve the nation's infrastructure. Trump, who has floated the idea of a $1 trillion infrastructure plan in which developers would receive an 82% tax credit in return for their equity stake. Earlier this month, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-WI, said the plan would use $40 of private money for every $1 of public money, and that P3s would play a major role.
One of the most high-profile projects on the list is the beleaguered Boston Green Line. The stalled light-rail extension was revamped and re-priced down to approximately $2.3 billion after costs under the original plan were on track to exceed the budget by $1 billion. Some critics blamed the project's woes on the initial construction team's maximum price contract, but subsequent investigation into the project's management indicated there was plenty of blame to go around and that missteps included a lack of necessary oversight from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. As part of the project overhaul, the MBTA trimmed costs substantially by eliminating certain design features, but the Trump list indicates a $3 billion spend could be headed toward Boston to complete the line.
Another project on the list it Maryland's Bethesda-area $5.6 billion Purple Line. Construction was ready to go when a federal judge rescinded both state and federal approval — which included $900 million from the Department of Transportation — and ordered the Federal Transit Administration to revisit the projected ridership figures contained in the project's initial environmental review. If the FTA determines that project officials did not adequately consider the impact of the Washington, DC, Metrorail's ridership decline on the Purple Line, the project could have to restart from square one.
Trump's list also includes the $2.1 billion Gordie Howe International Bridge, a collaboration between U.S. and Canadian officials intended to provide a modern upgrade for cross-border travel and trade, which now relies heavily on the privately owned Ambassador Bridge. That project, which would connect Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, has been planned as a public-private partnership, as has the Purple Line in Maryland. The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority is currently engaged in soliciting bids from three potential contracting teams.
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