U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced on Aug. 2 more than $363 million in grants to fund a wide variety of highway improvements, from interstate rehabilitation and reconstruction to technologies that result in improved safety and reduced construction congestion.
“Investments in transportation projects like these create jobs right away in communities across the country, and lay a foundation for future economic growth,” said LaHood. “Thanks to these grants, states, cities and local communities can move forward with the transportation projects Americans need to reach their destinations more safely, quickly and efficiently.”
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states, cities, tribal governments and local planning organizations to apply for federal funding from 12 grant programs. Nearly 1,500 requests poured in from every state, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., totaling approximately $2.5 billion. Grant funding was made available through enactment of the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II.
The 12 programs are:
- Public Lands Highway;
- Interstate Maintenance;
- Transportation, Community and System Preservation;
- Ferry Boat;
- National Scenic Byways;
- Value Pricing Pilot;
- Highways for LIFE;
- National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation;
- Railway-Highway Crossing Hazard Elimination in High Speed Rail Corridor;
- Delta Region Transportation Development;
- Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment; and
- Truck Parking Border Infrastructure.
All 50 states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico were awarded grants. Some examples of selected projects:
- Louisiana received more than $3 million to improve I-10 from the Lafayette Parish Line to the Atchafalaya Floodway Bridge. In addition to new pavement, the project will upgrade the guardrail and add new roadway striping to the route. The road is a high-volume truck corridor and is one of the state’s major hurricane evacuation routes;
- Ohio received $3.34 million to improve I-75 in downtown Dayton from Fifth Street to Riverview Avenue. This two-mile stretch of interstate is Ohio’s second-most congested area. The project will improve driver safety and reduce traffic congestion for the 104,000 drivers who use it each day; and
- Missouri received $2 million for engineering work needed to replace the two bridges on I-44 over the Meramec River and to add an eastbound lane to reduce congestion and improve safety for drivers in St. Louis County.
Descriptions of each program and grant awards can be found here:http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/discretionary/2012factsheets.cfm.
“The demand for these funds demonstrates a clear need for increased infrastructure investment,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “The President asked us to rebuild America—we have work to be done and Americans ready to do the work.”
A state-by-state list of the FY12 grants is available at:http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/discretionary/2012grantdata.cfm.