It's difficult to imagine a better way to close 2009 than by announcing that our Federal Highway Administration has approved 10,000 Recovery Act projects. That's quite a milestone to reach in the 10 months since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed.
Of the $26.6 billion available for highway projects through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, $21.8 billion has been obligated to 10,000 projects nationwide. 6,092 of those projects are already underway with thousands more expected to get going in 2010.
This money is working; it's putting tens of thousands of men and women back to work and significantly improving more than 27,000 miles of roads and bridges.
As FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez noted:
“Highway projects are moving forward across the country. Thanks to the Recovery Act, drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists will see significantly improved roadways in 2010.”
Strengthening the economy and making travel smoother and safer for everyone--that's a winning combination.
And those jobs will keep coming in 2010 and beyond with several of the nation's largest stimulus-supported projects just getting underway and expected to continue providing employment for several years:
- Caldecott Tunnel in San Francisco
- I-215 widening in San Bernardino, CA
- I-405 widening in Los Angeles
- US19/SR 55 Interchange work in Clearwater, FL
- I-405 “Braids” in Bellevue, WA
Since only February, DOT has approved more than 11,300 transportation projects, funded by $32.1 billion in Recovery Act money. 7,600 of those projects are currently underway. That's a pretty good start toward national recovery.
But we're not resting. In January, we're set to announce $8 billion in grants for high-speed rail and $1.5 billion under the TIGER Discretionary Grants program, which will spur even more job creation as more projects get underway.
So, yes, 10,000 is an impressive milestone, and I want to thank the DOT employees who made it happen. But there are more projects and more jobs just around the bend.