As President Donald Trump often says, infrastructure is the backbone of our nation’s economy. It is key to remaining competitive today and in the future, and to improving our country’s quality of life. That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation is pleased to be dispersing $1 billion in infrastructure investments through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) discretionary grants program.
BUILD funding supports road, bridge, transit, rail, and port projects in communities large and small. These vital infrastructure investments benefit Americans across the country, including right here in Ohio.
In this round of BUILD funding, we’re awarding $15 million to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority to purchase 34 new heavy rail vehicles and upgrade its rail maintenance facility, equipment, and stations to accommodate the new vehicles.
We’re also awarding the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments more than $23.6 million for the continued construction of the Glass City Riverwalk. The grant will fund the construction of a shared-use path with amenities, installation of transient docks, addition of a transit stop, installation of a bike share hub, creation of a kayak share location, and repair of existing seawall along the Maumee River in downtown Toledo.
While this is great news for Ohio, it represents just a fraction of overall investments this administration has made in boosting the state’s infrastructure. In fact, since January 2017, this administration has invested more than $7.1 billion in revitalizing Ohio’s transportation network.
We know that communities need robust modern infrastructure to thrive. These vital investments make our economy stronger, our families safer, and our roads less congested.
To that end, under the Trump administration, we’ve awarded $3.8 billion in BUILD grants and $3.4 billion in Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (INFRA) grants to communities across the country. Of that, we’ve awarded $2.9 billion to better address the needs of rural America and $960 million in Opportunity Zones.
But we haven’t stopped there. For decades, one of the biggest obstacles to building a modern transportation system has been mountains of bureaucratic red tape in Washington, D.C. That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation has worked to eliminate 11 regulations for every new one put on the books, saving the economy and consumers more than $93 billion.
This administration is transforming a broken permitting process by speeding up environmental reviews, updating decades-old National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures, instituting page limits, and streamlining decision-making through One Federal Decision.
The results speak for themselves. Before President Trump assumed office, reviews for highways ballooned to an average of nearly 750 pages in length. We’ve cut the federal permitting timeline for major projects dramatically so that reviews are expedited and don’t linger for decades.
At the U.S. Department of Transportation, we know that a strong infrastructure network is the foundation of a thriving economy. That’s why this administration is committed to breathing new life into our highways, railways, and ports. Together, we’re working to build a stronger America – and delivering on the promises we made to the people of Ohio.