Saturday, January 28, 2017

This past week, the Trump people began passing around a list of $137.5 billion in infrastructure improvements they want to see made in the next four years.

The Trump administration has said that the following projects will received "urgent" funding from the federal government. However, the administration wants private enterprise to kick in half the cost. Just how that would happen is unclear. While shipping companies use the Port of New York-New Jersey and might be blackmailed into contributing to its reconstruction, just who would pay for the near-collapsing Arlington Memorial Bridge?

Moreover, look at how many projects are in Ohio (3) and Texas (3). Three of these are power transmission lines and one a water plant (Huntington Beach desalinization plant) which benefit private individuals, and which the free market has refused to finance. Five (Sea-Tac Airport, Kansas City Airport, St. Louis Airport, Chicago's Union Station, Port of Newark) are projects which the free market and local citizens have refused to finance. One of these (the National Research Lab for Infrastructure) competes with existing engineering schools and sucks up money which could have gone to existing scholars. Three of these (Howard Street Tunnel, Burnham Place, the Purple Line) are already being funded by the private sector or Obama administration; Trump is just claiming them as "wins" even though he did nothing to support them.

The projects include:

  1. Rebuilding of all critical, high-risk rail infrastructure between Newark, N.J., and New York City.
  2. I-75 Brent Spence Bridge - rebuilding this critical, near-collapse bridge connecting Cincinnati, Ohio, and northern Kentucky.
  3. National Research Lab for Infrastructure - a new facility, built in Columbus, Ohio, and jointly run by Ohio State University and the Battelle Memorial Institute.
  4. Rebuilidng all 15 of the I-95 bridges in Philadelphia.
  5. Plains Transmission Line - construction of an electrical transmission line from Oklahoma to Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and five other southern states (ostensibly to give Oklahoma wind farms access to markets).
  6. Texas Central Railway - construction of a new high-speed commuter line between Dallas and Ft. Worth.
  7. Cotton Belt Railway - constructin of a new high-speed commuter line between north Dallas and southwest Ft. Worth and the Ft. Worth airport.
  8. TransWest Express Transmission Line - oil billionaire Phillip Anschutz's company proposes this line to move wind power from Wyoming through Utah and Nevada to serve customers in southern California, New Mexico, and Arizona.
  9. Construction of phases 2 and 3 of the 2nd Avenue Subway in New York City.
  10. Champlain-Hudson Express Transmission Line - construction of an electrical transmission line to bring hydropower from Lake Champlain down to New York City along the Hudson River.
  11. Burnham Place at Union Station in Washington, D.C. - covering over the Amtrak lines, expanding the station, and building 10 or so residential, office, and retail buildings.
  12. Completion of the Purple Line, southern Maryland - links many Metro lines east-west.
  13. Kansas City Airport - major expansion.
  14. Renovation of the Peace Bridge between Buffalo, N.Y., and Canada.
  15. Green Line extension in Boston to Medford and Somerville.
  16. Augustin Plains Ranch, N.M. - massive underground water storage facility, with solar and hydro power stations.
  17. Port of Newark, N.J., container ship terminal expansion and upgrades.
  18. Howard Street Tunnel CSX/Amtrak expansion - upgrading a Baltimore rail tunnel to accommodate double-stacked trains, and adding another tunnel.
  19. Rebuilding North Red Line and Purple Line in Chicago, doubling capacity.
  20. I-95 and I-395 reconstruction near Miami.
  21. Expanding Chicago's Union Station.
  22. Expanding I-70 in Colorado in the Mountain Corridor.
  23. Widening I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock in Colorado.
  24. Building Poseidon Water Co.'s proposed desalinization plant in Huntington Beach, Calif.
  25. Tripling the capacity of the Emsworth, Dashields, and Montgomery Locks on the Upper Ohio River.
  26. Rebuilding portions of the Monongahela River Locks and Dams to permit flood control.
  27. Expansion of Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle.
  28. Fixing the near-collapsing Arlington Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C.
  29. Expansion of St. Louis Airport.

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