President Trump’s Budget Includes $200B Infusion Into Infrastructure Over Next 10 Years

President Donald Trump’s recently released budget for the 2018 fiscal year includes a $200 billion infusion into transportation projects over the next 10 years with the goal of spurring a total $1 trillion in overall infrastructure spending achieved through the new federal funding and incentives to leverage private sector investment.

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney recently repeated Trump’s previously stated plan that every taxpayer dollar spent on infrastructure would spur on average at least $5 at the state and local levels.

“There are ways to leverage federal spending in order to drive infrastructure programs at the state and local level that would not have taken place but for federal spending,” Mulvaney told reporters.

Some $200 billion in federal infrastructure investments are promised to leverage another $800 billion in private investment, The Associated Press reported.

According to The Hill newspaper, the transportation portion of the budget uses four key tenets: leveraging private sector investment; ensuring federal money is targeted at “transformative projects”; moving more services and “underused capital assets” to the private sector; and giving states and localities more flexibility.

The plan also hopes to speed up project delivery by reforming regulations that can slow down projects, which includes streamlining the current environmental review and permitting process.

Also included is the expansion of the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program to $1 billion yearly and expanding eligibility; reducing tolling restrictions on existing interstate highways; allowing private investors to construct and maintain rest stops; explore innovative ways to reduce traffic; and lifting a $15 billion cap on Private Activity Bonds.

The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) was quick to respond, with IBITTA Executive Director and CEO Patrick Jones saying the federal government should take it one step further and allow states to toll their interstate highways “specifically to rebuild them,” stated IBITTA in a news release.

Scott Manthey, Senior VP Safety, Interstate Distributor, Presented TCA Clare Casey Safety Award

Scott Manthey, senior vice president of safety and compliance for Interstate Distributor Co. of Tacoma, Washington, has been presented the Truckload Carriers Association’s 2017 Clare C. Casey Safety Professional of the Year Award.

The award is bestowed upon a trucking industry professional whose actions and achievements have made a profound contribution to enhancing safety on North America’s highways.

Manthey received his award during TCA’s 36th Annual Safety & Security Division meeting under way here.

After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard for 10 years, Manthey has worked in the transportation industry for over 20 years, including the past 3 ½ years at Interstate Distributor Co.

He has helped usher in a 45 percent reduction in preventable DOT accidents, a 40 percent reduction in total incurred exposure, and a 17 percent lost time injury reduction, displaying his ability not only to teach professional truck drivers how to drive more safely, but to instill the values of safety into a company’s culture.

“In his first year with Interstate we would rarely find Scott in his office,” said Marc Rodgers, president & CEO of Interstate Distributor Co. “He was out in the yard talking to our drivers, teaching a class to our new operations staff, or in the driver lounge building relationships of trust with our associates. This was a testament to the loyalty Scott builds in his professional relationships and the responsibility he feels to build the future safety leaders in our industry.”

Rodgers said Manthey’s dedication to safety is never limited to his work with the company he works for — he also volunteers his time with other organizations to help spread safety to the industry as a whole.

Rosen to Head DOT’s Regulatory Reform Efforts

The Department of Transportation said that Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Rosen will serve as the department’s regulatory reform officer and chairman of the department’s Regulatory Reform Task Force (RRTF).

The RRTF was formed earlier this year in accordance with President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13777, which directs each agency to establish an RRTF to make recommendations to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens.

Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao has directed the RRTF to consider ways to accomplish DOT’s primary safety objectives in less burdensome ways and to further review “midnight rules” that were issued at the end of the Obama administration.

Unless prohibited by law, whenever an executive department or agency . . . publicly proposes for notice and comment or otherwise promulgates a new regulation, it shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed.

“For fiscal year 2017 . . . the heads of all agencies are directed that the total incremental cost of all new regulations, including repealed regulations, to be finalized this year shall be no greater than zero, unless otherwise required by law or consistent with advice provided in writing by the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Any new incremental costs associated with new regulations shall, to the extent permitted by law, be offset by the elimination of existing costs associated with at least two prior regulations.