Local leaders weigh in after President Trump calls for new infrastructure bill during State of the Union speech

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —The Mid-South is an area known around the world as a place where good are shipped and transported.

People who live here use the roads and bridges every day to get to and from work or school.

In his State of the Union speech, President Trump called America a nation of builders whose infrastructure needs to be modernized.

The president wants a bill to be generated that would produce $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investments.

"Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with state and local governments. And, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investments to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit," President Trump in his speech Tuesday night.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said he appreciated the President discussing infrastructure, calling infrastructure a necessity.

"But it's one of the toughest things to get funding for. Because, essentially, the objective of investing money into infrastructure is to maintain, and most people in governing want it to go toward either building advancing or expanding. With infrastructure, we're trying to maintain and that's always difficult to sell," Mayor Luttrell said.

The Mayor says allocating tax dollars shows a return on investment by renovating old buildings to save money in the long run, updating and making things safer and fixing potholes in the roads.

"The president's initiative last night on addressing infrastructure opens the door to do it here locally and put a local flavor to it," Luttrell said.

State Representative, Democrat John Deberry said this is the kind of issue  republicans and democrats can get behind.

"We see some of our opponents and even our adversaries make great strides and great economic strides. Our cities are modern and growing rapidly. We can't continue to drag out feet and be able to change things at a snails pace," Representative Deberry said.

WREG reached out to the Tennessee Department of Transportation for comment, but they said President Trump's speech didn't give them any details to comment on.