Heller sponsoring new bid to fund roads and bridges

WASHINGTON — A new bid to pump money into building and repairing roads and bridges was launched in the U.S. Senate on Thursday.

The BRIDGE Act would establish a $10 billion “infrastructure bank” that would offer loans and loan guarantees to states and cities. The money would be raised through the sales of surplus government property.

Supporters said the bank could make possible up to $300 billion in new projects, helping the United States to make badly needed updates to transportation, water and wastewater systems.

Five percent of the funding would be dedicated to rural projects. The issue likely will be debated next year when Congress undertakes a major transportation bill.

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., was among 10 sponsors.

At a news conference Heller noted the bill if passed would boost the Nevada Department of Transportation, which has identified $3 billion in short-term needs and projects totalling $10 billion that “they really need to work on but we just don’t have the money to do.”

The BRIDGE Act is an acronym for Building and Renewing Infrastructure for Development and Growth in Employment Act.

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at stetreault@stephensmedia.com or 202-783-1760. Follow @STetreaultDC on Twitter