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President Unveils Transportation Plan During Minnesota Visit

Updated: 02/26/2014 10:57 PM
Created: 02/26/2014 9:24 PM KAALtv.com
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- President Obama revealed his $300-billion dollar transportation proposal at the Union Depot in St. Paul, a spot that just underwent a huge renovation.

The first to the podium was U.S. DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Five years ago the President signed the American Recovery and Re-investment Act," said Foxx.

He spoke of the success of federal TIGER grants, setting the scene for President Obama's main agenda.

"Today I am here to launch a new competition for 21st century infrastructure and the jobs that come with it," said President Barack Obama Wednesday.

He said maintaining and updating our transportation systems needs to be a top priority for Congress.

"We have more than 100,000 bridges that are old enough to qualify for Medicare," joked the President, but, he says he’s launching this for that reason and to open several opportunities for job growth.

"The line is also going to stop in some poor neighborhoods that often times have difficulty getting to the places where there are jobs," said President Obama.

The hope is for Congress to set aside federal trust funds to help pay for such projects.

"So next week I am going to send Congress a budget that funds rebuilding our transportation infrastructure in a more responsible way by doing it over four years, which gives cities, and states, and private investors the certainty they need to plan major projects," said President Obama.

Until that goes in front of Congress next week, he wants Minnesotans to help carry the message.

"Let's get going Minnesota, thank you, God bless you, God bless the United States of America," said the President as he exited the stage.

President Obama spoke at the Union Depot not just to see the finished renovation, but to also point out that it likely would not have been possible without federal TIGER grants.