Stimulus projects likely to start small

Dec. 14, 2008 at 9:17 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's massive proposed infrastructure rebuilding program will likely start with routine but long-awaited projects, analysts say.

Touted as a visionary $60 billion effort to provide an economic stimulus to a tanking private economy, as well as a means to keep the United States competitive on a world scale by building new mass transit systems and alternative energy infrastructure, Obama's "rebuild America" efforts will instead start off small by quickly funding neglected routine projects, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

These would include such mundane but long-sought efforts as installing cable barriers on interstate highways in Oklahoma and repainting 88 highway bridges in New Jersey, the newspaper said.

Obama indicated last week big infrastructure spending plans are taking an immediate back seat to "use-it-or-lose-it" maintenance projects that can be started immediately and have been on states' to-do lists for years.

"It doesn't have the power to stir men's souls," David Goldberg of Smart Growth America told the Post. "Repair and maintenance are good. We need to make sure we're building bridges that stand, not bridges to nowhere."

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