The long-awaited infrastructure proposal – first mentioned by President Trump during his election campaign – is expected to be unveiled on Feb. 12. Originally saying his plan would generate $1 trillion in infrastructure investments, President Trump upped the ante during his Jan. 30 State of the Union address, increasing the target to $1.5 trillion. AGC looks forward to working with Congress and the Administration on enacting long-term infrastructure funding solutions and environmental review and permit streamlining reforms in a significant infrastructure bill this year.
At this point, it is widely reported that $200 billion in federal funds and loans will be made available with the intention of leveraging that amount to reach the $1.5 trillion goal. A variety of infrastructure categories will be addressed including roads, bridges, airports, water and wastewater, water navigation, energy and others. A significant portion of the federal dollars will be used as an incentive for new state, local and private sector investments in infrastructure. While public-private partnerships will be part of the plan, it will not be the primary focus. Significant portions of the funding will be directed at projects in rural areas and another portion will be aimed at “transformative” projects. Existing federal credit programs such as TIFIA and WIFIA will receive additional resources to encourage innovative financing solutions. The Highway Trust Fund’s chronic revenue shortfall and shortages in other existing infrastructure funds are not expected to be addressed.
Regulatory reform – particularly streamlining the environmental review and permitting requirements – will also be a priority. The president has said he would like to see infrastructure projects approved within two years as opposed to the current ten year timeframe.
Some unanswered questions about the proposal that will hopefully be clarified in Monday’s rollout include where the federal funds will come from and how those funds will be distributed amongst the various federal agencies that manage the different infrastructure programs.
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