President Obama announced plans for a new infrastructure initiative Thursday to bypass congressional gridlock by promoting private investment in public projects.
Obama arrived in Wilmington, Delaware, where he held a press conference near a portion of highway I-495, which has been closed since last month. The bridge, which runs through the city and carries an estimated 90,000 vehicles per day, was closed after engineers discovered four support columns were tilting to the side.
The Build America Investment Initiative will establish a committee to look for ways private businesses can more easily invest in American infrastructure projects. A new center at the Department of Transportation will be tasked with the initiative. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew will oversee a committee within the center to help find ways to eliminate the barriers that private companies face when investing in public works projects.
“The president’s visit and announcement today are a part of the administration’s continued push to highlight the importance of investing in our nation’s infrastructure so that we can build on the progress our economy is making by creating jobs and expanding opportunity for all hard-working Americans,” a White House official said in a statement.