US infrastructure: Secretary of Transportation touts $478 billion highway-funding plan

Proposal would give states freedom to start much-needed road and public transport projects

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The Independent US

US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx this week touted a $478 billion highway-funding plan that would help rebuild the crumbling American infrastructure, which has been under the spotlight recently.

The bill would boost funding for infrastructure by 45 per cent and would nearly triple the funding for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The state of US infrastructure has been the focus of attention recently as the US was ranked 25th by the World Economic Forum in a global ranking of infrastructure quality. HBO satirist John Oliver last month blasted the creaky highways, bridges and dams of the US on his show Last Week Tonight.

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The federal government has been unable to pass a long-term plan to fund highway projects in the past several years, instead passing 32 short-term funding plans. Those short-term plans forced states to delay major highway projects, exacerbating the existing problems with US roads.

The budget touted by the secretary of transportation is an initiative by the Obama administration to boost infrastructure funding through corporate tax reform, the Detroit News reported. The bill still has several hurdles to jump before it could become a reality.

Secretary Foxx said the budget would boost annual highway construction funding by nearly $12 billion a year over the six-year budget and would nearly double spending on public-transportation projects, the Journal reported.

“In states like Delaware, Tennessee and Arkansas there are more than $1 billion dollars’ worth of projects that we know right now have been put off,” Mr Foxx said on Tuesday in Detroit. “I do know that there are people in Congress that want to get something done, on both sides of the aisle.”

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