A thriving America that is built to last--with a vibrant economy and the freedom of mobility that allows people access to opportunity--must ride on the wheels of a safe and effective transportation system.
In Metairie, Louisiana, just outside New Orleans, that means minimizing an infamous bottleneck, the Causeway Boulevard interchange on I-10, the state's most heavily traveled roadway. These past few weeks, that chokepoint has been front and center as millions of visitors headed into New Orleans for Mardi Gras. New Orleans bakeries also relied on this busy roadway to ship more than 750,000 Mardi Gras king cakes.
Fortunately, construction crews are hard at work improving three interchanges and adding a through travel lane in each direction from I-10 and I-610 in Orleans Parish to Causeway Boulevard in Jefferson Parish. The project will relieve congestion for the highway's 178,000 daily travelers.
Last week, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez visited the site to review progress on this important work. "I know how important the I-10 Corridor is to the people and the businesses of this area and how badly congestion impacts everyone’s life," Administrator Mendez said. "And I know how important the construction jobs are to the talented men and women of Louisiana who have work thanks to this project."
Thanks to federal support, Louisiana's I-10 Causeway Boulevard interchange will reopen later this year, so the road to Mardi Gras 2013 will be a much smoother ride. And the budget the President proposed last week will allow us to invest in the many more projects we need to strengthen infrastructure across the country while creating jobs today.
Good economic times are ahead for America, but if we're going to let the good times roll, we'll need a transportation system that keeps our nation in motion.