President Barack Obama announced a new program Thursday to attract more private money to help pay to build new roads, bridges and highways as he criticized Congress for refusing to approve a more lasting source of transportation funding.
The new program is designed to encourage collaboration between state and local governments and private-sector investors, expand the market for public-private partnerships and make greater use of federal credit programs.
Obama argued that the U.S. is losing its competitive edge to other countries that spend freely on infrastructure upgrades.
“First-class infrastructure attracts investment, and it creates first-class jobs,” Obama said at the Port of Wilmington, where the recently closed I-495 bridge served as the backdrop. The bridge was closed indefinitely last month after four support columns were found to be tilting, forcing 90,000 daily drivers to find another way through downtown Wilmington.