From the first National Road, to the Erie Canal, to the Transcontinental Railroad, our nation has prospered because of a safe, strong transportation network. We absolutely would not be the nation we are today without transportation innovations that connect people and communities.
One of the most impressive and productive developments in American transportation has been our Interstate Highway System. The iconic red, white and blue shields of our interstate highways represent a remarkable accomplishment in American history, and these routes have forever changed the way we live, work and get from place to place. Being near an interstate also spurs economic development and jobs.
And last Tuesday, the newest segment of the Interstate Highway System was designated in Western Kentucky.
Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez shakes hadns with Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear
across new I-69 shield in Nortonville; photo courtesy iSurfHopkins.com
Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez joined Gov. Steve Beshear at Nortonville’s Southside Elementary School to welcome the first stretch of Interstate 69 to the Bluegrass State. This highway connects two important Kentucky roads, I-24 and the Pennyrile Parkway. Eventually, the I-69 corridor in Kentucky will travel from Fulton, in the state's southwest corner, to Henderson and over the Ohio River into Indiana.
And, as the upgrades create good jobs for area construction workers, the new designation will also open doors for the region’s economy. Between the improved road and the interstate designation, more businesses will want to invest in the region, creating more jobs for Kentuckians.
As Administrator Mendez said, “Investment in transportation goes hand-in-hand with jobs and economic opportunity. These improvements will create jobs now and encourage development in the future.”
The improvements leading to the new segment of I-69 won’t be on a Democratic road or a Republican road–the former parkway is an American road, and the upgrades will be done by American workers.
That’s why we need Congress to pass the infrastructure provisions in the American Jobs Act. From Fulton, Kentucky, to Fresno, California, and Farmington, Maine, it’s in every American’s interest for us to have the safest and best highway system in the world. And it’s in our interest to create American jobs and bring an end to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
The Interstate Highway System is a proud symbol of America’s legacy of transportation creating jobs and prosperity. We need our elected officials in Congress to work together so we can keep that legacy going. Let's get America back to work.