Returning to his campaign promise, President Donald Trump announced major initiatives in his first State of the Union address Tuesday night, one of them being rebuilding the nation’s dilapidated infrastructure.
“I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve. America is a nation of builders. We built the Empire State Building in just one year,” he continued. “Is it not a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?”
The following is an abbreviated synopsis of a fact sheet found on the Whitehouse.gov website:
- The United States ranks tenth in the world in terms of quality of overall infrastructure, according to the World Economic Forum.
- One out of every five miles of U.S. highway pavement is in poor condition.
- Americans spent an estimated 6.9 billion hours delayed in traffic in 2014, or 42 hours per driver.
- One third of America’s bridges are 50 years or older.
- There are an estimated 240,000 water main breaks every year in the U.S.
- The median time to complete an environmental review process of complex highway projects is at least 7 years, according to a 2014 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
BUILDING ON YEAR ONE
- On August 15, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order to streamline the environmental review and permitting process for major infrastructure projects.
- The Executive Order established a two-year goal for the environmental review process.
- On January 8, 2018, President Trump signed an Executive Order on Streamlining and Expediting Requests to Locate Broadband Facilities in Rural America.
- The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has already begun investing in infrastructure projects in rural America.
- On January 19, 2018, the USDA announced it is awarding 72 grants totaling $23.6 million for equipment that uses broadband internet to increase access to educational and health services for rural Americans.
- The Department of Agriculture has announced that it will invest more than $200 million to help improve broadband access in rural areas.
- In FY 2017, the USDA invested more than $40 million in infrastructure improvement projects in rural communities.
“Together, we can reclaim our building heritage,” he said in Tuesday’s State of the Union address. “We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways all across our land. And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.”
More information can be found on the Whitehouse.gov website.Tagged with infrastructure, President Trump