Today, in the words of Vice President Joe Biden, we passed "a significant milestone on the road to recovery."
It was my great fortune to be by the Vice President's side today when he announced that in the last week DOT had authorized hundreds of projects, putting us over the 10,000-project mark.
I appreciate his praise of DOT's hard work:
“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.
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."
I want to echo his thanks to the people at DOT who made this achievement possible. And it really is quite an achievement. Just think about it.
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. And, 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, as Vice President Biden observed, these projects are also critical investments in our national infrastructure.
Now, while 10,000 projects is a notable milestone, it's important to remember that the hard work of recovery is not finished. As the Vice President noted today, "We continue to work every day to create more jobs and drive economic growth."
So we look forward this winter to announcing $8 billion in high-speed and intercity passenger rail grants and $1.5 billion in discretionary TIGER grants.
This DOT has done a remarkable job accelerating authorization of these projects. I'm proud of that effort, and I know we will continue to do what is asked of us as we help put this nation back to work.