The Senate Banking Committee held hearings Tuesday on Capitol Hill aimed at improving the nation’s infrastructure while creating jobs. A centerpiece of the discussion was Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-CT) proposal for the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank to fund improvement project on roads, bridges, transit and water systems.

Dodd originally introduced the National Infrastructure Bank Act in 2007 with Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE). To highlight his point, he noted that hours after the bill’s introduction, the I-35W Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis collapsed, killing 13 motorists and construction workers and injuring 145. He also noted that June 28 marked the 27thanniversary of the Mianus River Bridge collapse, which killed three in Greenwich, Conn. in 1983.

“A National Infrastructure Bank will build on our nation’s legacy of bold, innovative investments in public infrastructure,” Doddsaid in a prepared statement.”First, an infrastructure bank would create a competitive, merit-based process to distribute money….Second, a well-designed National Infrastructure Bank would leverage state, local, and private fundsto support these investments. … Lastly, it would allow us to shift our focus from the near-term to the long-term. This will provide opportunities to fund large projects of national and regional significance, projects that require vision and patience. Investments like these will fuel our economy and create jobs over the long-term.”

(Link to Sen. Dodd’s full statement)