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Hillary Clinton Puts Forward Infrastructure Plan to Combat Freight Congestion

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wants to provide better infrastructure for American businesses and save them some of the $27 billion they spend each year because of freight congestion.

Clinton released an infrastructure plan Monday that looks at America’s infrastructure gap (investment in infrastructure is roughly half that of 35 years ago) and noted China’s race ahead to build projects that will drive growth instead of indirectly curtailing it.

“Consumers pay more for everything from food to furniture because of freight congestion in our highways, waterways and ports,” a brief on Clinton’s website noted.

As part of the five-year $275 billion infrastructure plan, Clinton said she would allocate $250 billion to direct public investment and the other $25 billion to a national infrastructure bank that would leverage the funds to support up to an addition $225 billion in direct loans or other forms of credit enhancement to foster investment.

Funding, which will be offset by business tax reform, will go toward fixing and expanding roads and bridges and connecting smaller business and manufacturers to their suppliers and customers, among other efforts.

“America’s roads and bridges are in a state of disrepair,” according to the brief. “More than half of our highways are 45 years or older, and nearly one in four bridges requires significant repair.”

Clinton said she will work to increase capacity and reduce congestion, plus pull the hidden “pothole tax” Americans pay for deteriorating roads.

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U.S. transportation networks handle as much as $48 billion in goods every day, but according to Clinton, insufficient freight infrastructure is preventing companies here from reliably and efficiently moving their goods and damaging the country’s ability to compete in the global market.

“Cargo trains can reach Chicago from Los Angeles in 48 hours, only to spend 30 hours crawling across Chicago itself,” the brief noted.

Under the proposed plan, Clinton said she would upgrade aging retail tunnels and bridges, expand congested highway corridors and build deeper port channels to accommodate the “newest and largest cargo ships.” Intermodal transfer points between trucks, rail and ships, like the local roads that connect highways to ports, will also be a focus in the plan.

According to the brief, “She [Clinton] is committed to initiating upgrades of at least the 25 most costly freight bottlenecks by the end of her first term.”

Continuing the commitment to combating climate change, Clinton’s plan promises to ensure any investments in infrastructure are resilient to climate risks and that companies can generate clean energy and find reliable sources of water.