President Trump has promised Americans an enormous infrastructure plan to repair roads, bridges, tunnels, air & sea ports as well as any other vital transportation structures. A large portion of the plan will rely on private funds, both gathered from repatriation of overseas capital and private funds directly from corporations. Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao is beginning to open up about how those funds will be collected and spent.
Via Fox Business:
To avoid that deficit, Chao explained that the administration is working on innovative ways to fund the plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure, including a public-private partnership.
She says she hears a lot of potential interest from the private sector to get behind the infrastructure plan, but there are regulations and rules in some states that would make a partnership challenging.
“The problem is, there is not enough public infrastructure projects ready to be financed because the permitting process takes too long; it takes 16 years to build a bridge, it takes about 16 years to build a road.
”Chao then gave an example of how the federal government can work together with state and local officials to get past the red tape and work quickly on infrastructure projects.
“On March 30 when I-85 in Georgia suffered a tremendous mishap where there was a fire underneath a bridge, we partnered with the state Department of Transportation.
I spoke with the governor and the state commissioner for transportation and within an hour of their request for emergency funding, we came through with $10 million.”
The administration is taking a broad, forward-thinking perspective on infrastructure, according to Chao.
“The infrastructure initiative includes not only the transportation portion – bridges, roads, ports – but also energy, water, possibly broadband, possibly VA hospitals. So, it really takes a look at the entire infrastructure, which adds to our country’s competitiveness, contributes to our residents’ quality of life and it’s also future-oriented.”