The newly refurbished Union Depot in St. Paul — a project that received considerable federal funding — was the backdrop for President Barack Obama’s Wednesday speech proposing a $302 billion, four-year program for investing in the nation’s transportation and infrastructure. He hopes to pay for the projects with money gained from an overhaul of business and corporate taxes.
The president also laid out a new version of “TIGER” grants, a $600 million competition to fund what the White House called “transformative transportation infrastructure projects.” The program to date has funded six Minnesota projects worth $65 million — including part of the Union Depot renovation.
While in the Twin Cities, Obama toured the Metro Transit Light Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility in St. Paul, showcasing in press photos some gleaming trains for the new Green Line.
“More Americans should have access to the kind of efficient, affordable transit you’re going to have with the Green Line,” he said. “There’s no faster way or better way for Congress to create jobs right now and to grow our economy right now, and have a positive impact on our economy for decades than if we start more projects and finish more projects like this one.”
Look for more on the president’s Minnesota visit in Thursday’s MinnPost.