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September 7, 2010 2:30 PM, EDT

Obama Proposes $50 Billion ‘Infrastructure Bank’

Tom Biery/Trans Pixs

President Obama has proposed a $50 billion “infrastructure bank” to bolster roads, bridges, rail lines and other innovative transportation projects, news services reported.

The plan calls for rebuilding 150,000 miles of road, lay and maintain 4,000 miles of rail track, restore 150 miles of airport runways and advance a next-generation air-traffic control system, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

The White House did not offer a price tag for the full measure or say how many jobs it would create, but if Congress just reauthorized the expired transportation bill, the new measure would cost about $350 billion over the next six years, the Times said.

But Obama wants to “frontload” the plan with an additional $50 billion in initial investment to generate jobs, the paper reported.

The plan also could involve private investors, who would expect a return on their investment, so many of the completed projects would have to charge fees, taxes or tolls, the Times said.

A House Appropriations Committee transportation panel subcommittee rejected Obama’s request for $4 billion to create an infrastructure bank to finance new projects in July, Bloomberg reported.

Last year’s economic stimulus package set $38.6 billion for the Department of Transportation, and so far $18.5 billion has been paid out, Bloomberg said.