With those two events in mind, I was happy to see a new report from the state trenches, "Projects and Paychecks, A One-Year Report on State Transportation Successes Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."
The report reminds us that transportation stimulus, which amounts to less than 7% of Recovery Act spending, has created "tens of thousands of jobs and billions in paychecks to American workers."
And, if you want to get a sense of who those workers are, I urge you to visit what I think is the best part of the website supporting the report, its Faces of Recovery page.
There, you'll find the compelling stories of the real people who have found real jobs through the stimulus. People who held onto their jobs or went back to work. People who were able to continue making their mortgage payments. People who were able to maintain health insurance coverage for their families.
That is recovery.
The useful website built around the report also makes it easy to see how America's transportation construction community has benefited from our national infrastructure investment. Differentiating itself from the rest of the construction industry, transportation construction was up over 5% from the previous year.
That is recovery.
With over 24,000 miles of highway and 1,100 bridges being improved, over 700 transit projects underway, expanded options for bicyclists and pedestrians, reduced congestion and its associated pollutants, and updated airports, the American public has clearly benefited as well.
And that, too, is recovery.
But we are far from finished. There are bigger projects coming that promise even more jobs lasting even longer. There is the $8 billion in High-Speed Rail seed funding we recently awarded to projects in over 30 states.
And there are our upcoming TIGER grants for innovative projects that promise to make an economic or environmental difference in their communities.
You see, transportation does more than move goods and people; transportation works.