Vice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood have announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has jumpstarted more than 10,000 transportation projects across America thanks to its swift allocation of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) dollars. As of this week, state agencies reported a total of 10,041 approved.
“Just nine months in, tens of thousands of people are on the job at highway, bridge, rail and airport improvement projects across the country thanks to the quick action by the Department of Transportation putting Recovery Act dollars to work,” said Vice President Biden. “These projects are not only providing new opportunities for hard-hit workers and businesses during tough economic times, but helping lay a strong foundation to support our 21st century economy. This is a significant milestone on the road to recovery, but we continue to work every day to create more jobs and drive economic growth.”
“From the beginning of the Recovery Act, it has been our top priority to get money out the door quickly to create jobs and boost the economy,” said LaHood. “In less than 10 months, we have spurred construction of 10,000 transportation projects across the country, many of which would have been stalled or shelved altogether without Recovery Act dollars. In addition to being economically crucial, these projects are critical investments in our national infrastructure.”
In the last week, the DOT has approved hundreds of additional transportation projects across the country, topping 10,000 projects. In Florida, a $71.2 million Recovery Act-funded project will construct a new four-lane highway to relieve traffic congestion in the Jacksonville area. In Kentucky, a $25.5 million project will reconstruct approximately 5 miles of U.S. 150 through Rockcastle County. A $37.6 million project in Lee County, N.C., will widen the 1.8-mile Sanford Bypass to ease congestion on one of the state’s most critical highway corridors. In Schuylkill County, Pa., a $22.9 million project will repair and replace pavement along I-81.
To date, the U.S. DOT has made $48.1 billion available for highway, road, transit, bridge and airport construction and repairs nationwide. Of that, $30.6 billion already has been obligated to fund 10,041 approved projects in 53 U.S. states and territories, with 6,547 transportation projects under way.
DOT agencies have been doing their part to make Recovery Act funds available to states as quickly as possible for local shovel-ready transportation projects. The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded 99% of its funding, $1.2 billion, for 355 airport improvement projects; the Federal Highway Administration has approved $20.2 billion for more than 8,500 road, bridge and highway projects; the Federal Transit Administration has awarded $7.4 billion to state and local transit agencies for new vehicles, facility renovations and maintenance; and the Federal Railroad Administration has approved 93% of funding available under the Amtrak Capital Grants program. This winter, the DOT also will announce $8 billion in grants to launch high-speed rail in America and another $1.5 billion in TIGER Discretionary Grants.