WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said that, thanks to him, U.S. infrastructure will “once again be the envy of the world.”
Right now, the country’s infrastructure is being “laughed” and “scoffed” at, and highways take too long to build, he said at a visit to the Department of Transportation’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Friday. He said at a round table discussion with White House and state transportation officials that his administration is working to streamline the permitting process for infrastructure projects across the country.
The current process “painfully slow” and “unnecessarily burdensome,” and it’s hurting the economy, he said.
He announced a new council aimed at helping project managers navigate red tape and an online dashboard that will allow the tracking of major projects through the approval process.
It remained unclear exactly how he wants to fund the projects beyond vague talk of public-private partnerships, teaming with states and streamlining the approval process.
During his appearance at the DOT building, the president flipped through binders that he said contained pages of “nonsense” paperwork for an 18-mile road in Maryland, and then tossed them onto the floor.
The binders containing environmental impact statements landed with loud thuds.
President Trump was highlighting the time, money, paperwork and other hurdles it takes to get major projects like roadways and bridges approved. Some are aimed at protecting the environment and insuring community input.