I arrived in Nashville yesterday to speak to the National Association of Counties about the success of the Recovery Act and about the future of transportation in this country. In a wonderful coincidence, yesterday's front-page of The Tennessean featured an article I was pleased to share on the success of the Obama Administration's stimulus in nearby Perry County.
Now, the federal program discussed in the article was not a DOT program, but so much the better. Readers know from this blog that DOT's stimulus programs are creating jobs and driving economic growth and rebuilding infrastructure around the country. The orange barrels and cones are out; green transit vehicles are being put into service; and port facilities are being developed.
For example, today, right here in Nashville, workers are rebuilding a major interchange on I-40. This long-delayed, $32 million project is funded entirely by the Recovery Act. It’s creating up to 350 jobs for workers and suppliers. And the new noise barriers being erected will help bring peace and quiet to the neighborhood.
Instead, the article just goes to show that these successes are being achieved in a wide variety of programs. The nation’s counties benefit from the billions of Recovery Act dollars the Administration is investing in infrastructure, tax relief, and social services.
As the article points out, Perry County's unemployment rate was over 27%. That is an indication of the catastrophic scope of the problem the Recovery Act was designed to mitigate, and in Perry County it has worked, reducing that unemployment rate by one-fifth.
The Tennessean's coverage tells the story I've seen around the country--in Perry County and elsewhere, the stimulus is working.