Leaders say time is ripe for private infrastructure investment

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WASHINGTON — Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said Monday that “There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in infrastructure. It’s a national priority, and has growing public support. There is also rare bipartisan consensus that now is the time to act.”

Chao was speaking at the inauguration of Infrastructure Week 2017, an annual series of events that focus on the nation's infrastructure needs.

Chao said that President Donald Trump's administration “will share its vision of what the infrastructure plan will look like in the next several weeks,” but she provided some outlines.

Officials in the Trump administration believe that a $200-billion federal investment in infrastructure will leverage $1 trillion in private money over the next 10 years. The plan also will streamline the permitting and approval process, create jobs, and give higher priority to states and cities that have already secured funding for local projects.

“The time has never been better for a major investment in infrastructure, and action is needed now,” Chao said.

Infrastructure Week has been an annual event for the past five years, but its organizers believe the time for action has never been better.

“The potential for real and meaningful infrastructure investment has never been greater,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The chamber and the AFL-CIO are the principal sponsors of the week. “It's a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Seventy percent of the public wants to invest in infrastructure.”

A recent U.S. Chamber survey found that 72 percent of voters believe the U.S. government should invest in transportation infrastructure. That investment would strengthen the economy, create jobs and help American business. The survey was conducted online with 1,996 registered voters between May 4 and May 6.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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