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Governors forward 428 infrastructure projects to Trump administration

A rehabilitation of Arlington Memorial Bridge is among the infrastructure projects submitted to President Trump, D.C. officials said. (Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post)

In anticipation of a major infrastructure initiative promised by President Trump, the National Governors Association on Wednesday forwarded a list of 428 “shovel-ready” projects to the new administration.

The list, culled from the states, includes an array of transportation, water, energy and emergency-response projects. And the sheer size of it underscores the intense interest in the initiative from governors in both political parties.

Based on guidance from the Trump transition team, states were asked by the NGA in December to submit three to five projects apiece. Most far exceeded that number.

California alone offered 51 “priority” projects that Brian P. Kelly, secretary of the California State Transportation Agency, said Wednesday represents more than $100 billion in targeted investments throughout the state.

An early look at the sweep of a Trump infrastructure plan

As a candidate, Trump made an ambitious pledge to mobilize anywhere from half a trillion to a trillion dollars into upgrading the nation’s aging roads, bridges and transportation hubs. Rather than rely solely on direct federal spending, advisers to Trump have said they would probably use tax credits and public-private partnerships. 

The Trump administration has suggested that the vetting of state-proposed projects could be done by a bipartisan commission similar in some respects to commissions that have overseen military base closures and realignments.

Congress is also likely to play a major role in shaping whatever initiative might emerge.

The NGA said Wednesday that it would not make public the list of projects it had submitted to the Executive Office of the President and the White House National Trade Council.

Some governors have kept their submissions private, while others have tried to make the process more transparent. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), for example, took to Twitter late last month and shared four road projects the state is seeking.

Officials in Virginia and Maryland have not responded to multiple requests from The Washington Post in recent days to disclose submitted projects. Officials in the District have not released a full list but said priorities include Metro upgrades and the rehabilitation of Arlington Memorial Bridge over the Potomac River.

The NGA said that the list it submitted Wednesday included projects from 49 states and U.S. territories.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) said in an interview this week that his state plans to lobby the Trump administration directly for his state’s needs rather than participate in the NGA process. Scott, who said his priority is overhauling the state’s seaports, said he has a strong relationship with Trump’s new transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, among other administration officials.

A list of projects released by California officials included highway construction, bridge replacements, rail expansions, flood-control initiatives, telecommunications upgrades, energy-grid upgrades and construction at military bases.

A letter sent to the NGA accompanying the submission noted that “California is home to one out of every eight Americans” and said that “when we build in California, we build for America.”