Ducey wish list for Trump infrastructure cash: roads, schools

President Trump is spending a trillion dollars in the next ten years to improve our nation's infrastructure.

Answering President Donald Trump's call for $1 trillion in new infrastructure spending, Gov. Doug Ducey is seeking a cut of $600 million for a dozen Arizona projects, ranging from a widening of I-10 through the Valley to projects that would make schools safer.

Trump's plan has no specifics other than the trillion-dollar target.

"Everyone in this industry is wondering what it's going to look like," said David Martin, president of the Arizona chapter of Associated General Contractors, a construction industry trade group.

"You have his concept and what the reality is with Congress. So we're waiting."

READ: Ducey wish list for Trump infrastructure cash

Every $1 billion in infrastructure spending in Arizona would create an estimated 7,100 construction jobs.

Arizona isn't "crumbling," to use Trump's word.  A new survey ranks our infrastructure 12th best in the country.

But the Valley and the state are growing. Our needs go beyond handling more planes, trains and automobiles.

"There are things you don't even realize are considered infrastructure," said transportation expert Shannon Scutari.

Flooding that washed out Interstate 17 last August in Phoenix is a sign of a major infrastructure problem.

"Flood control (is) not a sexy kind of thing for people," Scutari said.

Driverless cars are the sexy new thing. Scutari says we'll have to spend a lot more money to pave their way.

"We would need to upgrade our infrastructure dramatically to make self-driving cars a reality," she said.

The wish list Ducey sent to the White House was produced in collaboration with the National Governors Asociation, said spokesman Daniel Ruiz. All are shovel-ready projects, he said.

Among the projects:

•Expanding the capacity and improving safety on Interstate 10 through the Valley.

•Widening a three-mile stretch of U.S. 93 on the road to Las Vegas. The upgrade could be part of the long-sought Interstate 11 linking Phoenix and Las Vegas.

•Widening one of the most dangerous highway stretches in rural Arizona, on State Route 260 in Lion Springs.

•Three school projects: Testing water for lead; removing rubber flooring that contains mercury; and upgrading heating and ventilation systems in schools.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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