the lead indicator
During his State of the Union address last week, President Obama pushed for renewed investment in the country’s weakening infrastructure.
In the ranking of proposals making the rounds in Washington, this one falls low on the scales of partisanship. Party ideologies aside, the quiet majority in Congress stands to benefit from a program that would see new spending reach virtually every district in the nation. If there is one arena in which policy makers’ individual incentives might trump doctrine, this could be it.
It wasn’t the splash Chris Ward was hoping Dragados would make in New York, a state where the Madrid-based construction company had aimed its recently-hatched aspirations at dramatically growing in the U.S.
In recent weeks, the firm had to withdraw late in the months-long bidding process to build one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the country, a $5 billion dollar replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge in Westchester – a project that has triggered outcry for the $14 round trip toll state officials say the new bridge would have to charge, a dramatic increase over the current $5 fee.
“The governor is on the line,” a top real estate executive recalled his wife telling him early one morning in his suburban home several weeks ago.
He remembered feeling a small spasm of panic as he cursed aloud—without realizing his wife was on the other side of the door holding the receiver out.
The man put the phone to his ear. “That’s what you say when I call?” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in jest.