President Obama: Rebuilding Nation's Infrastructure Will Mean More Jobs

President Obama Wednesday called on Congress to dedicate more funding to infrastructure projects like the rebuilding of the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Screen shot of President Obama's speech from Tarrytown Wednesday.
Screen shot of President Obama's speech from Tarrytown Wednesday.
Stressing that the United States is 19th among industrialized nation's in rebuilding its infrastructure, President Barack Obama Wednesday spoke at the Tappan Zee Bridge to urge Congress to fund more projects to lift America's standing in improving bridges and roads.

The president spoke for just under 20 minutes in Tarrytown at the Washington Irving Boat Club, with the bridge in the background. He was introduced by area resident Chris Horton, one of the rebuilding project managers and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"We're building more than a new bridge," said Horton. "We're building a monument to America's innovation."

Obama praised the efforts of Horton, Cuomo, the workers on the project, the community and the region's Congressional delegation, led by Nita Lowey for making the rebuilding initiative a reality.

The new bridge received a $1.6 billion federal loan, the largest ever by the Department of Transportation, and Obama called on Republicans in Congress to help fund more infrastructure projects.

"We know these improvements help create jobs," said Obama, drawing attention to past Republican presidents, including Ronald Reagan, who also called for infrastructure improvements. "How can they be against Ronald Reagan?" 

New York spent $80 million and 10 years talking about replacing the bridge, said Cuomo, but with Obama's help in streamlining the federal permit process, the replacement project is finally underway, on-time and on-budget. "Over $1 billion is being saved" by using a new combined design and build process that streamlines the construction. 

Despite the positive words about the rebuilding project, the president's trip to the region was not without some controversy. Residents of Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow and the surrounding areas were on alert and streets and parking lots were closed due to the president's motorcade and security detail.

Additionally, the speech was scheduled for about 3:35 p.m., which is when rush hour starts in the area.

Obama did not directly address the congestion his trip was causing, but said improved infrastructure will help ease commuting times and make America a more attractive country for businesses to locate.

"We don't need a can't do spirit, we need a can do spirit," said Obama.

Click here to read the transcript of President Obama's speech at the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Say No To Common Core May 15, 2014 at 08:59 AM
What a detractor he was to come and take the attention away from Astorino and the convention in Westchester #StopCommonCore!!
jo May 15, 2014 at 09:30 AM
shovel ready anyone ???? dump the dems all of them.. Flush America clean
Margaret Sapir May 15, 2014 at 09:31 AM
Where did all the money go for the last infrastructure shovel-ready projects? Jobs are not created by government.
Sterling May 15, 2014 at 04:31 PM
Chris Marengo May 16, 2014 at 08:34 AM
The stimulus was supposed to solve our infrastructure and jobs problems, but instead it became an Obama and Dems slush fund for their pet projects and crony-capitalist schemes.


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