Obama is slated to speak at the bridge, about 20 miles north
of New York City, at 3:25 p.m. ET (1925 GMT), and will pledge to
apply the lessons learned from the permit process for the bridge
to a long list of infrastructure projects across the country.
Obama will also urge Congress to pass a new transport bill,
without which an estimated 112,000 highway projects and 5,600
transit projects could grind to a halt for lack of funding,
putting at risk almost 700,000 jobs in the peak summer
"While a bipartisan group of members in the Senate are working
toward a compromise, there has been no progress by House
Republicans to date on the issue," a White House official said
in a statement previewing Obama's speech.
Obama has offered a four-year, $302-billion transport spending
plan, paid for by ending some business tax breaks. But the White
House has said he is open to alternative proposals to avert the
looming funding crisis.
He has long pledged to snip red tape on infrastructure projects,
which can often face a long series of environmental and other
types of reviews from government bodies.
Since 2011, the administration worked on ways to cut red tape
for 50 major projects, such as the $3.9-billion replacement for
the aging 60-year-old Tappan Zee bridge, crowded with almost
138,000 vehicles per day.
By holding concurrent reviews for several agencies for the new
bridge, the government approved it in 1.5 years instead of the
three to five years it would have typically taken, the White
Obama will announce that his government is expanding a
"dashboard" used to track schedules for permits and coordinate
reviews for departments, the White House said.
(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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