Mayor Sandy Stimpson traveled this week to Washington, D.C., where he joined Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew and other senior White House and administration officials in a roundtable conversation about infrastructure investment, as part of the President’s Build America Investment Initiative.
Stimpson was joined at the White House on Wednesday by a select group of elected officials including: Mayors from Dallas, Detroit, Tampa, Fla.; Washington, D.C.; the County Executive from King County, Wash.; as well as the governors of Colorado, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Additionally, the White House invited representatives from 19 investment funds whose funding capacity exceeds $7 trillion dollars.
“I was humbled and honored to represent Mobile at this important gathering to discuss how our country is addressing the infrastructure funding needs of our cities and states,” Stimpson said. “The momentum in Mobile has clearly captured the attention of the highest levels of our government, as well as a compliment of investors looking to enter into innovative public private partnerships to help improve and fund our aging infrastructure.”
Each elected official was asked to present one critical infrastructure opportunity that could benefit from a public-private partnerships. Stimpson presented a national case on the critical need to build the Mobile River I-10 Bridge.
“One of our biggest infrastructure challenges remains the construction of the Mobile River I-10 Bridge,” Stimpson said. “If we are able to realize this bridge, traffic congestion would be significantly reduced along the I-10 corridor – having a positive effect on the flow of people and commerce spanning from Jacksonville, Florida to Los Angeles, California. With an estimated price tag of $850 million to $1 billion, this is a critical investment opportunity for our nation’s infrastructure – this bridge stands to drastically improve the cost, efficiency and volume of our interstate and international commerce.
“With the Panama Canal expanding, we have to be able to efficiently move more goods in and out of our ports. Mobile, Alabama, matters to America,” he added.
As part of the President’s Build America Investment Initiative, Mobile is an ideal city to begin looking into P3s to address how we can fund the improvement of our infrastructure. Beyond the added benefit of fixing what is broken or needed, robust public-private partnerships will lead to the creation of jobs, provide more certainty to our economy, help our businesses and improve our city.
Started in July 2014, the Build America Investment Initiative was launched by President Obama to grow investment in our nation’s infrastructure through better leveraging of federal funds, lowering barriers to investors, facilitating partnerships between federal, state and local governments, and promoting P3s.
Stimpson departed Mobile for Washington on Tuesday and returned to the city late Wednesday. He was accompanied on the trip by Chief of Staff Colby Cooper.