By Michelle Durham

WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) – As Congress decides whether to add money to the nation’s highway trust fund, President Obama will visit Delaware later today to see a damaged bridge.

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The president will be visiting the damaged I-495 bridge today to propose a new initiative linking private sector investment to the nation’s infrastructure.

U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware says the challenge facing Diamond state officials is great.

“Something like 20 to 40-percent of all of the bridges in our region are considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete,” he said. “If Congress fails to reauthorize funding for our nation’s roads and bridges this month, it could cost tens of thousands of jobs and slow or stop thousands of highway and transit projects.”

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Secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation Shailen Bhatt is keeping a close eye on the developments.

“From a Delaware perspective, we have received word that the federal government may be delaying payments to us and it will have a project impact and it is obviously an urgent situation.”

Bhatt and Senator Coons credit alert motorists and engineers for alerting officials to the problem of the tilting 495 bridge, and they say members of the public should never hesitate to call if they see something amiss.

 

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