As the culmination of a weeklong focus on the United States’ infrastructure, President Donald J. Trump shared his vision for accelerating programs to build and repair roads, bridges, and transportation during “The Roads and Rail Regulatory Reform Event” on June 9, 2017 at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Hosted by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao with remarks by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, President Trump spoke to a select audience of members of Congress, representatives of the transportation community (including the Institute of Transportation Engineers), heads of state departments of transportation, and U.S. Department of Transportation staff.
President Trump revealed plans that would increase transparency, reduce inefficiencies, and provide assistance to program managers in moving through the approval process. While not going into detail, he discussed three specific tactics: 1) the formation of a council that would develop an online dashboard to track the progress of projects at every stage in order to promote timeliness and avoid unnecessary delays; 2) the creation of an office in the Council of Environmental Quality to streamline procedures and decrease federal oversight; and 3) return control and approval of many projects to states and local governments, as these entities are in the best position to know what is in the best interest of their communities. President Trump indicated these new initiatives would ultimately bolster the economy, create jobs, and improve transportation systems throughout the nation.