February 8, 2011

U.S. DOT kicks off ‘Build Week’ with bus facility tour

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation visited an energy-efficient bus maintenance facility in Raleigh, N.C., that’s helping one of America’s fastest growing cities meet rising demand for safe, efficient public transportation.

The $28.6 million facility, being built with $22.3 million from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), is one of several federally funded projects around the nation that are moving America closer to meeting the goal President Barack Obama set forth in his State of the Union Address to “out-build the rest of the world.”

Raleigh is one of the first stops on the Obama Administration’s “Build Week,” a week-long tour by Administration officials to showcase projects that are already making a big difference in the economy by spurring private sector investment and creating jobs in the communities where they are being built. Deputy Secretary John Porcari attended the event.

Capital Area Transit’s new 23-acre operations and maintenance facility, which will potentially accommodate 200 transit buses, up from 50 today, incorporates a number of “green” technologies, including geothermal heating and cooling, water cisterns for external irrigation, the promotion of natural light for work spaces, and the use of recycled and rapidly renewable resources.

“Our up-front investment in projects like this one helps to put skilled construction workers on the payroll today and promote energy efficiency and accommodate transit expansion for years to come,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff, who was also in town to tour the project.

Rogoff announced this week that the Federal Transit Administration made $3 billion in formula funding available to states, local communities and transit agencies nationwide to modernize and rebuild their transportation systems. These funds serve as the lifeblood in the federal partnership with states and communities seeking to build new infrastructure, invest in more transit options, make repairs to existing bus and rail lines, and to ensure transit serving rural areas receives much needed operating funds.

Other scheduled “Build Week” events include:

• Tuesday, Feb. 8: Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez will tour a Daytona Beach, Fla. project to create a new roadway and bridge over I-95, spurring economic growth by connecting existing commercial and residential development.

• Wednesday, Feb. 9: Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff will tour one of the busiest Red Line transit stations in Cleveland, Ohio, where workers are building a new, higher-capacity station to replace the original Puritas Station, which was built in 1966.

• Thursday, Feb. 10: Federal Aviation Administration Deputy Administrator Michael Huerta will tour a Cessna manufacturing plant in Wichita, Kan., where he will highlight the benefits of the business expensing tax credit on general aviation manufacturers.

• Friday, Feb. 11: Deputy Secretary John Porcari will tour the I-75 Reconstruction Project in Dayton, Ohio, which will remove a major downtown bottleneck and spur economic growth.

• Friday, Feb. 11: Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff will tour the under-construction Intermodal Transit Terminal in Fort Pierce, Fla.

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