It’s “Infrastructure Week” at the White House—five days of attention-building around President Donald Trump’s mystical $1 trillion plan to rebuild America’s concrete lifelines—and the only trip on Trump’s agenda took place Wednesday afternoon in Cincinnati. You’d think it might have been at the Brent Spence Bridge, the dilapidated and congested Ohio River span that Trump repeatedly vowed to fix during his campaign. The White House even put the crossing at number two on its infrastructure “priority list” earlier this year.
Instead, Trump spoke before a members-only audience of a private Cincinnati marina, as protestors marched nearby. Policy specifics were not to be found in his speech, which riffed on the decrepit state of America’s transportation systems, amid broader statements. ”Today we will build the dreams that will open new paths to a better tomorrow,” the president said at one point. He did not mention the Spence bridge once. But he did place a slight emphasis on aging inland waterways. “We simply cannot tolerate a five-day shut down on a major thoroughfare for American coal, American oil, and American steel,” Trump said, referring to the hydraulic failures that shuttered Ohio’s New Cumberland Locks and Dam in December 2016. “We cannot accept these conditions any longer.”