As advocates for spending more on highways, transit, water and other public-works projects gathered for the sixth annual Infrastructure Week’s more than 100 media events and panel discussions, it was clear that a wide-ranging bill won’t be coming this year. But officials said targeted measures are making progress.

President Trump did release details of his $1.5-trillion proposal in February, but no bill to implement it has surfaced. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said May 9: “We’re going to continue to look at ways to improve the nation’s infrastructure. But in terms of a specific piece of legislation, I’m not aware that that will happen by the end of the year.”

Terry O’Sullivan, Laborers’ International Union of North America general president, told attendees at the May 14 Infrastructure Week Washington, D.C., kickoff, “I think we’re going to see bits and pieces.” O’Sullivan cited a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, which included airport construction grants, that the House passed April 27. He also noted a recently introduced bill authorizing funds for Army Corps of Engineers projects and Environmental Protection Agency water programs (p. 8).

Brian Pallasch, an American Society of Civil Engineers managing director, also points to the 2018 omnibus spending law’s $21-billion infrastructure spending hike. “That’s not going to solve a $2-trillion gap, but it is steps in the right direction,” Pallasch says. “No one’s going to write a $2-trillion check. ... So incremental progress is what we’re going to have to do.” Neil Bradley, U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive vice president, said, “We can’t stop pushing.”

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao noted that funding is the big question. Chao said “16 or 17” options are under review, such as a vehicle-miles fee and the gas tax, which have backers and critics. She said, “Everything is on the table.”