The Trump administration on Friday proposed nearly $1.5 billion in grants to help rebuild highways, bridges and railroads around the country.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced 26 grants spanning 23 states, calling them a down payment on the administration's plan to improve infrastructure.
Rebuilding the nation's infrastructure was one of President Donald Trump's campaign promises, but he hasn't made much headway.
Trump's budget in February called for $200 billion in federal infrastructure spending over the next 10 years, but there seems to be little support in Congress while deficits are rising after the Trump tax cuts.
Trump envisioned federal incentives that would encourage state and local governments and private investors to kick in another $1.3 trillion.
Among the largest proposed grants announced by Chao is $184 million to build express lanes on a state highway in Georgia, $160 million to expand an interstate in Wisconsin, and $147 million for a roads project in North Carolina.
"These projects will improve the quality of life, facilitate commerce and create jobs," Chao said during a news conference. The grants, she said, "are a down payment on this administration's infrastructure priorities."
The Transportation Department also announced a number of grants for airports, many of them in rural areas. Candace McGraw, CEO of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, said funding from the federal Airport Improvement Program is critical for small and medium-sized airports.