State and local transportation officials could tap into more than $400 billion in global funding to pay for highway, bridge and transit projects to supplement record levels of federal transportation funding, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Wednesday, March 26.
“We can unleash the greatest wave of transportation investment this country has ever seen,” Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said. “We have the need, the technology and the resources to build dozens more projects like the Hoover Dam Bypass.”
Peters made the announcement during a visit to the Las Vegas, Nev., area Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge project for an update on construction. She noted that economists estimate that more than $400 billion is available worldwide today from a variety of private sector sources to invest in transportation projects like the new bridge. “Projects like this don’t have to be an anomaly,” Peters said.
DOT is working to encourage private investment to help supplement the record $50-plus billion a year the federal government already is providing to states to help maintain, improve and expand highways, bridges and other transportation systems, Peters said. “We need the political will to say no to earmarks, yes to private innovations, yes to faster approval times and yes to infrastructure projects that solve our congestion problem and help our economy,” she said.
Peter said Americans have lost confidence in the way transportation projects are funded today because they see their gas taxes going to too many projects that do little to reduce congestion.