Inside Tucson Business » Government officials working on a study of the Sonoran Corridor Project say it would be “a regional economic catalyst,” noting that hooking up I-10 and I-19 near Tucson International Airport would be a “multilevel, multistep, multiyear economic development initiative” for Pima County and Southern Arizona. The report on the project suggests that the new travel route ultimately chosen would significantly transform the regional economy, “adding billions of dollars (their estimated annual impact would be $32 billion) and tens of thousands of jobs (their estimate is 200,000 jobs) to the Tucson valley.”
Governing » The need is indeed enormous. The American Society of Civil Engineers has graded the nation’s infrastructure as a D+ and warned that its deterioration is harming the nation’s ability to compete in the global economy. In the early days after Trump’s inauguration, Republican strategist Steve Bannon predicted that infrastructure would give the president an added bonus, the key to “an entirely new political movement, as exciting as the 1930s,” even “greater than the Reagan revolution.” It was such a good idea, the White House believed, that Trump’s team boosted the target to $1.5 trillion. But nearly two years after the election, the plan is by all reports dead. Everyone seems to love the idea of investment in infrastructure, but no one has figured out how to pay for it.
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette » The Arkansas Department of Transportation has yet to finalize the nearly 4,000-page environmental assessment of the $630.7 million project to renovate the Interstate 30 corridor through downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock. A complication: The state missed an end-of-September deadline to file the necessary paperwork with the feds.
Times of San Diego » California’s roads get a “D” and both its bridges and public transit a “C-” in a report card released Wednesday by the American Society of Civil Engineers. In the report’s summary, the association urges voters to reject Proposition 6, which would end more than $5 billion in annual infrastructure funds. “With $5 billion annually hanging in the balance, the grades could quickly decline if these investments do not come to fruition,” said John Hogan, co-chair of the ASCE’s California Infrastructure Report Card Committee. “By defeating Prop. 6 in November, voters can ensure the funding from SB 1 will continue to provide critical funding for roads, bridges and transit.”