Raimondo lays out road, bridge rebuilding and jobs plan

by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis


This rundown bridge that links Rhode Island to Massachusetts is becoming a centerpiece in the race for Governor.

Democratic candidate Gina Raimondo has proposed that Rhode Island spend almost 400 million dollars over the next two decades, rebuilding roads, bridges and schools.

She says it will create four thousands of jobs.

“We have the workers. They are ready to rebuild our state. They are right here and they are ready to work. Behind me are plumbers, electricians and ironworkers,” said State Treasurer Gina Raimondo, (D) Candidate for RI Governor.

Those who toured the bridge today said Massachusetts does much better job on infrastructure.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, “This truly is the tale of two states. Look at the Rhode Island side with all the pothole repairs and the cracks filled with asphalt. You look across the line to the other side here where it’s clear and clean; that’s Massachusetts.”

In Rhode Island overall unemployment is at nine percent, but in the construction trades, it’s often more than double that.

“Well it would mean a lot, because a lot of us guys are out of work now. And it would help our families, and very much so,” said Steve Prior of Union Local 37.

Raimondo say she can fund the plan without bonds or tax increases.

“We have the money in the budget. If we can find a hundred million dollars for Curt Schilling and we saved four billion dollars on pension reform. We have to be strategic and thoughtful and take a portion of our tax revenue and invest it,” said Raimondo.

But critics say Raimondo’s plan is too expensive given the state’s projected shortfalls in the next few years.