Obama to push for four-year $302B roads plan in Minnesota

McClatchy Washington BureauFebruary 26, 2014 

US NEWS GOVERNORS 3 ABA

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden attend the Democratic Governors Association Meeting in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 21, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

OLIVIER DOULIERY — MCT

President Barack Obama will travel to Minnesota Wednesday to tout a $302 billion plan to put more Americans back to work by repairing and modernizing roads, bridges, railways and transit systems, according to the White House.

Obama has proposed $150 billion in one-time revenue from closing tax loopholes to address what the White House calls the funding crisis facing surface transportation programs. He is open to other ways to pay for the improvements.

If Congress lets transportation programs expire later this year, more than 700,000 jobs will be put at risk, according to the White House.

Obama also will launch a new $600 million competition to repair infrastructure through the TIGER grant program that pays for roads, bridges, transit, rail and ports. The program is designed to leverage additional money from private companies, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies.

Since 2009 when the President signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that launched the program, the grant program has awarded $3.5 billion to 270 projects across the nation.

During the previous five rounds, the Department of Transportation received more than 5,300 applications requesting nearly $115 billion for transportation projects across the country.

Obama will tour the Metro Transit Light Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility in St. Paul and then deliver remarks at Union Depot.

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