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January 23, 2020 9:15 AM, EST

Mike Bloomberg Releases Infrastructure Plan

Mike BloombergMike Bloomberg speaks at the ​U.S. Conference of Mayors' Winter Meeting on Jan. 22. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

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Mike Bloomberg is the latest presidential candidate to release an infrastructure investment plan.

Bloomberg unveiled his 21st Century Infrastructure Plan on Jan. 22 at the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ winter meeting in Washington. The former New York City mayor’s plan is meant to deliver a modernized infrastructure network that can improve the movement of goods.

Reducing pollution is one of the plan’s staples. Bloomberg would launch a Zero-Emissions Trucks and Buses Hubs program in about a dozen metropolitan areas to connect ports, shippers and truck operators with manufacturers to spur electrification projects. The program would offer loans to cover up-front costs.

During his remarks, Bloomberg cited the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2017 infrastructure report card, on which the country earned a D+.

“Our roads are unsafe and clogged with traffic. Our bridges and dams are deteriorating. Our airports are congested with delays,” Bloomberg said. “We just can’t accept that in America.”

Bloomberg’s plan indicates he will repair 240,000 miles of roads and 16,000 bridges by 2025. He proposes establishing a $1 billion annual “pothole” fund for emergency repairs and allocating $850 billion over 10 years to critical capital investments in roads, bridges and dams. The American Road and Transportation Builders Association reports that 47,052 bridges are structurally deficient.

In order to address congested highways, Bloomberg pledges to increase the budget for the federal Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects program. The plan mentions that congestion costs the trucking industry more than $74 billion per year.

Details on how to pay for the plan are scarce. The plan notes that Bloomberg’s administration would “spend smarter and look for innovative financing mechanisms to maximize each dollar.”

Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., announced his $1 trillion Building for the 21st Century plan Jan. 10.

Bloomberg and Buttigieg join a field of fellow Democratic candidates who have released plans for infrastructure investment.

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