Obama's Infrastructure Plan Could Boost Aging NYC
$4 trillion budget proposal includes a big increase in spending on infrastructure - and some say it's just in time.
President Barack Obama proposed a record-high budget of $4 trillion Monday. It includes his plan to upgrade the nation's aging bridges and roads by boosting transportation spending by some 30% over the next six years.
Adam Forman knows crumbling infrastructure. He is a Research Associate at the Center for an Urban Future - the group that released a report last year saying 11% of New York City's bridges are structurally deficient and need to be fixed.
"And the reason for that's pretty clear," Forman said. "The infrastructure is old. We have hundreds of bridges, hundreds of schools that are over 100 years old. So it's really important that we invest in infrastructure. And obviously the Federal Government's spending is really important in this area."
Forman said nationwide, cities are becoming even more of a center for jobs - New York included.
"We're seeing more people from Bergen County, from Hudson County coming in for work. So whether it's bridges getting into the city, or tunnels getting into the city, or just the continued functioning of our city with the electrical system, the sewer system - we need to make sure that we're taking care of infrastructure if we want our economy to continue to grow."
With the President facing a Republican majority in both the House and the Senate for the first time, passing such an ambitious bill may not be easy.
Casey Dinges with the American Society of Civil Engineers said transportation infrastructure is usually a bipartisan issue, "but the challenge will be finding how to pay for it."
For now, the President hopes to fund the plan largely by increasing taxes on corporate gains overseas - an idea some Congressional Republicans are balking at already.
Still Dinges hopes the players in Washington can come to an agreement.
"For states and cities looking to the federal government for infrastructure assistance, this send a very positive signal."