The Department of Transportation's TIGER awards have been a huge success. And today I helped break ground on a project in Portland's South Waterfront district that is a perfect example of a community solving problems through innovative transportation ideas.
The $66.5 million SW Moody Avenue project received $23 million in TIGER funds and will help generate economic activity by reconstructing a critical corridor. Elevating the roadway will allow the city to cap adjacent brownfields, open up large parcels of land for development--including a hospital--and transform this district, as Portland Mayor Sam Adams said, into one of the city's greenest areas.
And the elevated Moody Avenue will offer a host of new transportation options:
- Traffic lanes that will increase capacity and reduce congestion so drivers can spend less time on the road stuck in traffic and more time with their families;
- Pedestrian and bicycle facilities that will give people cleaner, greener transportation options for getting around the city; and
- Streetcar service that will help create new economic opportunities and connect residents with Portland’s central business district. And we know those streetcars will pack twice the economic punch, too, because they’ll be built right in Portland, by Americans for Americans.
The communities--like Portland--awarded TIGER grants have developed innovative ideas to meet those challenges head-on. And when we back that innovation with smart, targeted investments, we generate an economic ripple effect that creates jobs, supports business development, and helps keep America on track toward economic recovery.
As Congressman Earl Blumenauer said, "Thanks to this investment, this area will become an oasis of employment and innovation for years to come."
Portland Congressman Kurt Schrader thanked the Administration, adding, "That's government that has your back when you really need it."
Transportation is about more than just getting from here to there. It’s the lifeline of our economy. It’s how we connect to each other. And I’m confident that Oregonians – and all Americans – will enjoy the benefits of these essential TIGER investments for years to come.