Crews replace and repair track to advance the MTA Subway Action Plan the Bronx in New York.
Courtesy the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York via Flickr Commercial Commons Crews replace and repair track to advance the MTA Subway Action Plan the Bronx in New York.

Today, President Donald Trump unveiled his much-awaited proposal to fix the nation's crumbling highways, railroads, bridges, airports, water systems, and other infrastructure. While the 55-page document is being billed as a $1.5 trillion–investment plan over the next 10 years, the administration is asking for only $200 billion in direct federal funds, with the remaining $1.3 trillion to be generated by state and local governments and private investors.

“We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways all across our land,” Trump said in the official White House statement. “And we will do it with American heart, and American hands, and American grit.”

According to the proposal, $100 billion of the $200 billion allotted federal funds will be used to create an incentives program, “making federal funding conditional on projects meeting agreed-upon milestones.” To qualify for these funds, applicants would be required to raise 80 percent of the budgeted cost for any given project, likely through state and local taxes, gas taxes, or increased toll prices.

Of the remaining $100 billion, $50 billion will be allotted to a new rural infrastructure program; $20 billion will be dedicated to a new infrastructure innovation program; $20 billion will go to expanding infrastructure financing programs; and $10 billion will create the new Federal Capital Revolving Fund for streamlined leasing of federal property.

Trump also calls for a "shortened and simplified" system asking Congress to create a "one agency, one decision" structure for environmental reviews with a "firm deadline of 21 months for lead agencies to complete their environmental reviews."

Unsurprisingly, the proposal has ignited both ire and praise. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) voiced their concerns on Twitter:

Meanwhile, representative and House majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA 23rd District) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI 1st District) praised the plan:

Regardless of the plan's divisive methods of rectifying the nation's D-plus-rated infrastructure, the proposal still falls short of the American Society of Civil Engineers' investment recommendation of $2 trillion to close the 10-year investment gap between predicted funding and the actual maintenance cost of the nation's infrastructure.

Going forward, the Trump administration will have to collaborate with Congress to write and pass a bill based on the president's recommendations.

In concert with our sister publication, Public Works, ARCHITECT is hosting a conference, the Infrastructure Imperative in November. Learn more about it here.