Every day at DOT, we set to work on transportation projects that not only help people and goods get where they need to go, but travel there more safely, efficiently and quickly than ever before. And under President Obama's leadership, we have sought to invest in the kinds of bold, innovative projects that will put Americans back to work, spark economic development, and contribute to our nation's long-term prosperity.
With those goals in mind, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez yesterday joined with Connecticut leaders to break ground on the I-95/I-91 interchange reconstruction project in New Haven--a massive road project that will both put people back to work and alleviate congestion for commuters across the region. Originally designed to carry 40,000 cars a day, today the I-95/I-91 interchange carries 140,000 vehicles, resulting in accidents, snarled traffic, frustrating delays, and a great deal of wasted fuel.
The partnership between Connecticut and the Federal Highway Administration on the interchange project is a good example of the steps this Administration is taking each day to improve our transportation network, serve residents, support the economy, and create jobs.
One of the best features of the I-95/I-91 interchange redesign is the safety improvements that will reduce accidents AND congestion. As Administrator Mendez noted, "New travel lanes, wider existing lanes, and fewer left lane exits and onramps will lead to a much safer and faster trip through the New Haven area.”
A safer, smoother trip doesn't just benefit drivers and their passengers; these upgrades will also improve the movement of goods in this critical freight corridor.
The new bridge and improved highways will deliver jobs and other economic benefits to the State of Connecticut. Highway construction and bridge building mean more hours for more workers. In addition to those directly employed on the project, the ripple effects construction generates mean increased activity for suppliers and local businesses, and that in turn means even more jobs.
And, when we improve the connections between our communities, we improve the flow of commerce and enhance the prospects for economic development and long-term prosperity.
Better, safer roadways and new jobs--that sounds like a win all-around to me.
So if you see orange cones along the highway in the vicinity of New Haven this summer, you can rest assured that DOT dollars are hard at work in Connecticut. And, please, help construction workers get safely home to their families by driving extra carefully through construction zones.