Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has requested that President-elect Barack Obama consider including many important Utah projects in the economic stimulus package the incoming administration is crafting.
In a letter sent to Obama this week, Hatch called the president-elect's attention to more than $18 billion worth of "ready to go projects" in Utah that could help jumpstart the economy if included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that is expected to come before Congress.
"These projects include traditional highway, transit and infrastructure projects as well as the kind of technology infrastructure that you have discussed in your public comments," Hatch told the president-elect in the letter.
Among the projects Hatch listed were 146 road projects throughout Utah. Included in the letter were all projects identified by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) as part of a nationwide survey, including Interstate 15, U.S. 6 and Mountainview Corridor construction, among scores of others. The list also includes construction and bridge repair projects and other infrastructure improvements - all ready for bid in less than 90 days.
"I believe we should be using this stimulus package to lay the groundwork for a long-term economic expansion in a fiscally conservative way by creating a growth-friendly tax system which encourages innovation." Hatch said. "I understand the President-elect has chosen a different approach. Therefore, it is appropriate to draw the President-elects attention to the fact that has Utah many important transportation and infrastructure projects ready to go and they should be funded.
Hatch also identified about several important Utah Transit Authority (UTA) projects ready for construction - projects that would improve light rail, commuter rail and bus service in major transportation hubs throughout Utah.
Finally, the senator made a pitch for a new U.S. courthouse in Salt Lake City to replace the current one, which was constructed in 1905 and expanded in the 1930s. The outmoded facility houses the district court, bankruptcy court, U.S. Marshals Service and some probation/pretrial services offices.
Hatch noted the plans for a new courthouse are already ready and approved.