November 12, 2009

ARRA reaches 10,000 U.S. transportation projects

Vice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) jump-started more than 10,000 transportation projects across America due to the allocation of Recovery Act funds. As of this week, state agencies reported a total of 10,041 approved.

“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," said Vice President Biden. "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.”

“In less than ten 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,” said Secretary LaHood.

In the last week, the U.S. DOT 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 US 150 through Rockcastle County. A $37.6 million project in Lee County, North Carolina will widen the 1.8 mile Sanford Bypass to ease congestion on one of the state’s most critical highway corridors. In Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, a $22.9 million project will repair and replace pavement along I-81.

To date, the U.S. DOT 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.

U.S. 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, according to a White House statement.

The FAA has awarded 99 percent of its funding, $1.2 billion, for 355 airport improvement projects; FHWA has approved $20.2 billion for more than 8,500 road, bridge and highway projects; FTA has awarded $7.4 billion to state and local transit agencies for new vehicles, facility renovations and maintenance; FRA has approved 93 percent of funding available under the Amtrak Capital Grants program; and MARAD has spent 96 million, or 100 percent of its ARRA program funds, for capital improvements to small shipyards.

This winter, DOT will also announce $8 billion in grants to launch high-speed rail in America, and another $1.5 billion in TIGER Discretionary Grants.

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