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Infrastructure on the Front Burner


RR012617 highwayJan. 24, 2017 – The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association reports that President Trump signed an executive order that is designed to speed up environmental reviews and fast-track critical infrastructure projects. “We intend to fix our country, our bridges, our roadways,” he said at a press event. “We can’t be in an environmental process for 15 years if a bridge is going to be falling down or if a highway is crumbling. So we’re expediting environmental reviews and approvals.” Under the order, governors or Cabinet secretaries request that a project to be designated as high-priority one and the project moves to the top of any review queue if the White House Council on Environmental Quality approves.

Trump said throughout the campaign that he wants to invest up to $1 trillion in America’s infrastructure and put Americans back to work. To that end, Democrats in the U.S. Senate proposed a plan to spend that much over 10 years to repair old bridges and roads, expand bus and rail systems, modernize ports, highways, airports and other infrastructure projects. 

Senate Democrats and Republicans differ on funding the improvements included in any infrastructure bill. The plan unveiled on Tuesday by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) would rely on tax dollars to fund construction. As of now, Trump’s plan would allow private investors to take advantage of $137 billion in federal tax credits for different projects that the administration believes will create $1 trillion worth of infrastructure improvements.