This afternoon, I spoke to the Legislative Conference of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA). The IBTTA is the worldwide association for the owners and operators of toll facilities and the businesses that support tolling.
As I’ve mentioned before, the administration believes that to win the future and restore America’s economic competitiveness, we must out-build and out-innovate the rest of the world. We must dream big, and build big. And, as I shared with the members of IBTTA, attending to America's roads is an important part of our plan.
Repairing our existing roads, bridges, and tunnels and building new projects is essential to pushing the economy forward. And, at a time when many Americans are looking for economic opportunities, these projects mean jobs--lots of jobs. That's why the President has proposed a $50 billion “up front boost” that will jump-start job creation even as it helps lay the foundation for future competitiveness and prosperity.
But building big requires money. So does keeping these roads, bridges, and tunnels in safe operating condition.
States want to build big projects--but many states are simply too cash-strapped to attempt these projects. The Department of Transportation wants to help them find ways to pay for the transportation solutions they need.
For example, we're looking at allowing tolling in Indiana and Kentucky, where they’re building bridges over the Ohio River--and in Washington and Oregon, where they’re building a bridge across the Columbia River.
DOT looks forward to working with Congress to hammer out the specifics of the President’s six-year transportation bill, which is essential to moving our economy forward.
The members of IBTTA get that, in order to bolster our economy, we must continue to dream big and build big.