Obama pledges more cash for highway infrastructure

WASHINGTON — In an attempt to push the national unemployment rate down below 10 percent, President Barack Obama says he will make additional investments on highways and roads, bridges, water systems and clean energy projects that would go beyond funds allocated to the Recovery Act.

"These are needed public works that engage private sector companies, spurring hiring across the country," he said in a nationally televised speech at the Brookings Institution.

In response to the president’s comments, the American Trucking Associations issued a statement in support of his plan to invest in infrastructure. The ATA also urged Congress and the Obama Administration to expedite funding for current highway projects, in addition to a quick passage of the long-term highway bill.

According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, nearly 7,500 highway projects throughout the country worth more than $47 billion are ready to start immediately, the ATA says. In addition, the Federal Highway Administration estimates that each billion dollars invested in federal-aid highway projects creates about 30,000 jobs. 

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