WASHINGTON — President Obama in his fiscal 2011 budget yesterday proposed a $4 billion infrastructure bank to fund or finance worthwhile transportation projects.

Total new obligations for surface transportation — including highways, bridges, and a new “livable communities” initiative — would be $43.4 billion, according to the budget. That is downsized from fiscal 2010’s estimated $43.7 billion and fiscal 2009’s actual $40.1 billion. Interstate maintenance, congestion mitigation, and demonstration projects would be pared down, but the federal government would obligate more money to federal-land highways, bridges, and other programs.

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