At the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) with Vice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, President Barack Obama announced funding for the 2,000th transportation project under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), only six weeks after approving the first project.
“Just 41 days ago we announced funding for the first transportation project under ARRA, and today we’re approving the 2,000th project,” said President Obama. “I am proud to utter the two rarest phrases in the English language – projects are being approved ahead of schedule, and they are coming in under budget.”
The 2,000th project is a $68 million project in Kalamazoo County, Mich., which involves the widening of I-94 from two lanes both east and westbound to three lanes in each direction. The project will improve safety and ease congestion by providing a more efficient interchange.
President Obama signed ARRA into law on February 17, less than one month after taking office. Less than two weeks later, the President, Vice President Biden and Secretary LaHood released the first funding to the states and localities for highways, roads and bridge projects. That release of funds came eight days earlier than required by law.
Prior to the passage of the ARRA, Secretary LaHood established within the US DOT the TIGER (Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery) team to ensure that economic recovery dollars for transportation infrastructure projects is rapidly made available and that project spending is monitored and transparent. On March 3, the President unveiled a TIGER logo, as well as an ARRA logo, that will be placed on construction signs across the country, to mark projects being built and jobs created with Recovery Act funds.