PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Gov. Gina Raimondo’s administration submitted five Rhode Island proposals for President Trump to consider as his team mulls which infrastructure projects to prioritize nationwide, though none are on a much-discussed list that surfaced earlier this week.
Raimondo press secretary David Ortiz said the five projects submitted to the National Governors Association as of Jan. 19 were:
- the Route 6/10 Connector reconstruction;
- the 6/10 northbound interchange;
- the statewide bridge repair list for 2017;
- a water main replacement for Providence Water;
- and a rehabilitation of the Quonset State Airport.
Ortiz cautioned, however, that the Rhode Island list is preliminary.
“It is not necessarily the list we will submit when the formal process occurs,” he said. “The new [Trump] administration does not yet have a confirmed transportation secretary in place and has not yet requested a list of projects from the states.”
The McClatchy newspaper group earlier this week published a slideshow of 50 major infrastructure projects purportedly being prioritized by the Trump transition team, though the White House has since distanced itself from the list. The only project in New England on the list was upgrading the MBTA Green Line in Boston.
“Several publications picked up on Tuesday’s story, some questioning if certain states were omitted from consideration based on political calculations,” Lindsay Wise and Steve Vockrodt of McClatchy wrote in a follow-up story. “California and Rhode Island, for example, were two heavily Democratic-voting states that did not have any infrastructure projects on the Trump transition team’s initial list.”
“However,” they noted, “Chicago had a pair of projects in it, a city in a Democratic-leaning state and where President Barack Obama started his political career. Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, is Chicago’s mayor.”
Trump has long said he planned $1 trillion in infrastructure spending as president, though Republicans have indicated the initiative could involve tax credits and public-private partnerships rather than simply checks from the feds. Senate Democrats countered this week their own proposal for $1 trillion in infrastructure spending.
On Thursday, Ortiz said: “Governor Raimondo will do everything in her power to make sure Rhode Island gets our fair share of federal transportation dollars.”