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Obama infrastructure plan - what does it mean here?
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President-elect Barack Obama is pledging to make massive public investments in the nation's infrastructure, a plan that harkens back to the Eisenhower-era creation of the interstate highway system.  It's a program meant to jump-start the economy, deal with the leaking job market, and fix our crumbling infrastructure at the same time.  

“We will create millions of jobs by making the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s,” Mr. Obama said.

The "jobs" part of this is clearly on the minds of Connecticut officials, as they try and figure out ways to stop job losses that might not ever come back to the state.  

Check out Heather Brandon's Urban Compass blog, for more on infrastructue - including rail - that could be included in such "big picture" plans.  

This week, we want to talk about how these plans might benefit Connecticut...what ideas do you have?  How could our state capitalize on federal infrastructure funding?  I'd love to read your comments - they'll help us build our conversation.




Trains & Housing, not Highways!

Great program this morning on the topic of infrastructure spending in CT.  Check out the podcast if you missed it.

It was very telling that, in her comments on your show, Governor Rell spoke immediately of repairing bridges and dams as massive make-work projects.  Only when prompted by John did "light rail" or "transit" enter her vocabulary.

Yet, almost every caller after that talked out the interconnection between jobs / housing / transit, whether along the proposed New Haven - Springfield commuter rail line or some sort of high-speed rail linking Hartford and NYC.

Check out my recent blog on this issue in "Talking Transportation".

One final thought...  in the debate about bailing out Detroit, Sen. Chris Dodd has asked the best question yet:  Why not use our failed passenger-car factories to build busses and trains?  GM used to build both, but today there is not one domestic rail car manufacturer in the US... which is why it's taking 5 years and $2.5 million apiece to build the new M8 cars for Metro-North.