KNPR

Titus Says Committee Slot Could Help Secure Infrastructure Funds

titus2.jpg

Rep. Dina Titus joins construction workers at the groundbreaking for the Regional Transportation Commission's UNLV Transit Center.

Happy Infrastructure Week, when the engineering and construction industries promote the need for investing in the nation's roads, bridges, and power and data distribution.

And this year it comes as President Joe Biden sells his American Jobs Plan infrastructure program, which proposes spending $2.65 trillion over the next eight years.

For it to become law it would need to clear the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where Rep. Dina Titus sits as a senior member.

"It gives me kind of a seat at the table for when the decisions are being made," she told State of Nevada, "and I know the individuals who are there; I've worked with them."

Titus believes the infrastructure package the president has proposed is going to be great for Nevada if it is approved.

She said the specific things in the bill that would help Nevada directly include money to widen Interstate 15, funding to complete Interstate 11 to connect Phoenix and Las Vegas, and finally, additional help for a high-speed train to connect Las Vegas and Southern California.

Support comes from

“All of that will bring people and projects to the valley and help with jobs and recovery,” she said.

As Las Vegas has reopened, traffic troubles between Southern California and Southern Nevada have returned. It can take hours for travelers to return to Southern California because of the traffic along I-15.

Titus believes several solutions should be looked at.

“I think you have to look at a combination of things,” she said, “You can widen the highway, but you don’t want to just do that and create more cars and more air pollution and more congestion.”

Titus is working with Brightline West, the train company that is working to build that high-speed connection, to help them secure more funding.

She would also like to see Amtrack service to Las Vegas restart with improvements to how the train operates. Titus said more people are using rail now and international travelers are comfortable with train travel, which would increase ridership.

Within Las Vegas, Titus is working to get more money to improve a section of roadway that has been a problem for drivers for years.

“One of the projects I’m trying to get funded in Congress is to expand the Charleston underpass because it still floods and that will open up that area for better transit across the valley,” she said.

The congresswoman is hoping Maryland Parkway gets expanded and improved with bus pullout lanes and better-coordinated traffic lights.

As the chair of the subcommittee on economic development, Titus said she was able to get $2 billion allotted for grant money for communities around the country.  

“Of that money, $750 million was set aside just for areas hit by a drop in tourism and that certainly would be Nevada,” she said.

Titus said local governments can apply for the money and use it to fund workforce training and other programs to help diversify our economy.

 

 

Guests

Dina Titus, congresswoman, D-Nev.

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for. If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.

More Stories