Last Friday, with Washington, DC, mayor Vincent Gray, I visited a construction site where 380 workers are on the job.
What are the workers on the 11th Street Bridge project doing? They're replacing two existing bridges with three new bridges and improving interchanges for local and freeway traffic. By 2030, these bridges are expected to serve nearly 180,000 cars, trucks, and buses every day.
Thanks to $189 million from the Federal Highway Administration, this project will relieve congestion on a crucial artery and boost the region's ability to move people and products when it is completed in 2013. For the 380 workers building the new bridges and interchanges, the project is putting them on the job site right now.
And that's exactly what the American Jobs Act, introduced last week by President Obama, wants to do more of. Across the country, all 50 states have roads and bridges that need maintenance and modernization, and they have new projects ready to go, projects that will relieve congestion and enhance economic competitiveness.
At the same time we’ve got unemployed construction workers standing by, ready to roll up their sleeves. A nation with work to do, and workers who are ready to do that work; this is the moment for Congress to pass the American Jobs Act.
As Steven Sandherr, CEO of the Associated General Contractors--one of the nation’s largest trade associations for the construction industry--said, “There are few more effective ways to create good jobs, deliver great roads, build a strong economy and protect taxpayers than to invest in infrastructure."
The men and women I saw on the 11th Street Bridge site are hard at work doing their jobs. It's time for Washington to do the same. It's time to pass the American Jobs Act.