Florida U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson on Wednesday unveiled a $1 trillion plan aimed at rebuilding the nation's crumbling, roads, bridges and airports. During a visit to Tampa, Nelson says it would create more than 15 million new jobs by fixing roads, expanding bus and rail systems and modernizing ports and rebuild public schools.
"Florida has more than 200 bridges that have been declared by the Department of Transportation as structurally deficient," Nelson said. "Florida is growing at a rate of nearly 1,000 people per day. You can imagine the toll that’s taking on our state’s infrastructure. This is our chance to make some much-needed repairs and create millions of new jobs in the process.”
He was joined by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who says modernizing infrastruture is needed to help the city grow.
"This should not be a partisan issue," Buckhorn said. "It's not a sexy issue. But America's infrastructure is in dire need of repair."
President Trump also has called for major spending on infrastructure, but a struggle is expected in Congress over where to get the money to pay for all these projects.
Nelson, the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee and a key sponsor of the proposal, says that if approved, the plan would likely fund several important projects in Florida.
Here's part of his news release:
The plan includes $180 billion to improve and expand bus and rail systems, which could be used to restore Amtrak service along Florida’s Gulf Coast and extend Sunrail service in Orlando. It also includes $10 billion to modernize ports and waterways, which could be used to speed up repairs being made to the Herbert Hoover Dike and deepen the ports in Jacksonville and Ft. Lauderdale to accommodate the new mega ships coming through the expanded Panama Canal, and $210 billion to fix crumbling roads and bridges.
The plan also provides, among other things, $30 billion for airport improvements, $10 billion to construct new Veterans Affairs facilities and $75 billion to modernize public schools.
Here’s a link to more information on the plan: https://www.billnelson.senate.gov/sites/default/files/Infrastructure_Plan.pdf