7 Sep 2010

$US50 billion infrastructure plan to be announced

5:56 am on 7 September 2010

President Barack Obama is expected to call for a new infrastructure plan on Monday in an attempt to find ways to jump-start the United States economy.

The plan will invest about $US50 billion in roads, railways and airports as well as high-speed rail and the creation of an infrastructure bank.

The BBC reports US infrastructure has long been considered underfunded and receives poor grades from government agencies.

There are signs that the US economy is faltering. On Friday, the US Labor Department announced that the US economy had lost a further 54,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate rose to 9.6%, from 9.5% in July.

Mr Obama is to focus on the economy this week. He is expected to unveil new tax proposals on Wednesday in Cleveland, Ohio.

Mr Obama will outline the infrastructure plans at an event in Milwaukee marking the Labor Day holiday.

The proposals call for investments over six years, but would be backed by an initial $US50 billion.

The goals of the infrastructure plan include: rebuilding 241,000km of roads; building and maintaining 4000 miles of railways, repairing 150 miles of airport runways and installing a new air navigation system.