Newsom hosts National Governors Association in San Francisco, says infrastructure projects a priority

California Governor Gavin Newsom along with the governors of Maryland and Montana toured San Francisco's latest major infrastructure project, the Transbay Transit Center.

California's governor says major projects like this are critical to stimulate the economy and meet global climate change goals.

"This is what we should be doing in this country," said Newsom. "This is what we used to do a lot of. Now we talk a lot about it. These are non-partisan things, things that transcend politics. You want to do better in the future, you got to invest in the future."

Despite their differences in party, state population and size, the governors agree that political divisiveness is slowing critical projects.

"I think most governors whether they're Republicans or Democrats and whether they're in small states or big states," said Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland. "You know, we've got to focus on rebuilding some of these infrastructure, or building this infrastructure to accommodate needs, and Washington has been failing."

The topic is forefront for the National Governors Association where governors from across the country can compare best practices.

Newsom also addressed the reality that frequently, major projects including the Central Subway, Van Ness improvements, even the Transbay Transit Center are plagued with cost over runs and frequently come in late and over budget.

"I think the biggest mistake we make is we knowingly underestimate the costs of these projects up front," said Newsom.

Urban planning experts also say frequently the difficulty of projects is underestimated.

The potential fix is peer reviewing projects from the onset and ensuring better management and communication between those planning the projects and those building them.

"Basically we tend to overestimate that things are going to be just awesome, and that's rarely the case," said Dr. William Riggs from University of San Francisco.

Newsom also addressed California's aging energy infrastructure, saying the state needs a major commitment to upgrade how California generates and distributes electricity.

The governor says he'll be laying out his plans by the end of next week.