- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Residents of the Hudson River valley of New York are being warned to expect commuter delays Wednesday when President Obama visits a heavily used bridge as a backdrop for a speech urging Congress to support his $302 billion transportation plan.

Mr. Obama will use a helicopter and motorcade for his visit to the Tappan Zee Bridge in Tarrytown, N.Y., one of the busiest spans on the East Coast. The 3-mile-long bridge is undergoing a $3.9 billion replacement project, financed mostly by bonds funded by higher tolls.

Mr. Obama is expected to blame congressional Republicans for blocking a new transportation bill.

“Failure to act by Congress would put at risk more than 112,000 ongoing highway and 5,600 transit projects as well as nearly 700,000 jobs,” a White House official said Wednesday.

The president will speak in late afternoon before heading to New York City for a Democratic fundraiser. A White House official said Mr. Obama also will announce a plan to streamline the permitting process for federally funded infrastructure projects.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Monday that the Highway Trust Fund, which relies on gasoline taxes that haven’t been raised in 20 years, could run dry in August without congressional action.

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