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Trump's Infrastructure Plan Would Leave Large Funding Deficit For State, Says Peduto

Margaret Sun
90.5 WESA

Under President Donald Trump's infrastructure plan, the federal government would supply 20 percent of funding to chosen projects across the country, with states, cities and private investors providing the remaining 80 percent.

This flips the current model, where the federal government provides 80 percent of funding for highway projects.

Mayor Bill Peduto said he's disappointed in the plan.

"Unless you're living in a mega growth area, like Seattle or San Francisco, it's going to be nearly impossible to generate the revenues that would be necessary to accept that 20 percent," Peduto said.

Data from the Center for American Progress predicts that Trump's infrastructure plan would leave a large funding deficit for the state. Pennsylvania could lose $1 billion a year between 2021 and 2027 in highway, bridge and street work.

The city's Department of Mobility and Infrastructure crunched the data for Pittsburgh-specific numbers and found western Pennsylvania was projected to lose about $150 million a year during that time.

Peduto says he believes Trump's plan would prioritize projects that could generate revenue, such as toll roads, over other projects.

"It seems to be more focused on that than taking care of the critical infrastructure [needs] for the United States," he said.

Based on the amount the Pittsburgh region is expected to lose in funding, the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure predicts 15 structurally deficient bridges in western Pennsylvania would need to be decommissioned due to lack of funds. Typical major bridge rehabilitation projects in the region cost $10 million to $25 million each, according to department officials.

Peduto said he predicts bipartisan mayors across the country will spend the next few months lobbying for changes to the plan.

"Was this what the cities were asking for?" he asked. "Absolutely not."

Kathleen J. Davis covers news about just about anything at WESA. She’s also the primary reporter and producer of WESA’s weekly series Pittsburgh Tech Report. Kathleen originally hails from the great state of Michigan, and is always available to talk about suburban Detroit and Coney Island diners. She lives in Bloomfield.
As a public media organization, WESA provides free and accessible news service to the public.

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