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Today, I had the distinct honor of personally thanking the all-volunteer U.S. Merchant Marine crew of the M/V CAPE RAY upon completion of a historic and unprecedented task that has made our world a safer place.

I previously wrote about the M/V CAPE RAY—one of the 46 Ready Reserve Force vessels maintained by the Maritime Administration (MARAD)—earlier this summer to highlight the vessel's modification to safely destroy the Syrian regime’s declared chemical weapons stockpile.

Photo of M/V CAPE RAY

Continue Reading Honoring the Merchant ››
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When you extend a runway at South Florida's second-busiest airport, it involves a little more than roto-tilling a patch of grass. Building the 8,000-foot long, 17-inch thick South Runway that opened yesterday at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL) actually required 12 different tunnels --to accommodate roads as well as railroad tracks-- 535,000 square yards of concrete, and 90 miles of electrical and lighting cable.

Continue Reading Runway extension in South ››
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Last week, the City of Philadelphia celebrated the grand opening of its new Dilworth Park adjacent to the historic City Hall. The park brings a vibrant new public space and more accessible public transportation to the heart of the city, replacing an inaccessible, multi-level, deteriorated plaza that consisted of numerous stairs, walls, and barriers.

The project helps restore William Penn’s original, 17th-Century plans for the City of Brotherly Love’s civic spaces. It also creates new access to contemporary features of city life that Penn could never have anticipated: including multiple bus lines, two subway lines, five trolley lines, thirteen regional railroad lines, and a high-speed rail line to southern New Jersey.

This ambitious reimagining of the former Dilworth Plaza was made possible by a 2010 TIGER grant from the US Department of Transportation. And, as we celebrate the latest round of TIGER grants supporting 72 projects in 46 states and the District of Columbia, it’s proof of the kind of transformation these grants make possible for their communities.

Photo of Philadelphia City Hall with transit access

Continue Reading Philadelphia opens TIGER- ››
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As the father of a young son, I know the worries that accompany the joys of parenthood.

As a parent you will always worry; after all, it’s up to us to keep our children safe.

That’s why we’re reaching out directly to parents and to organizations committed to protecting children about car seat safety as part of Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs from September 14-20. We want everyone to know that protecting children means researching the correct car seat, making sure it’s registered so you’re notified of any safety recalls, and—if you’re as committed to this issue as we are at NHTSA—to reaching out and spreading the word about car seat safety on social media this week...

Continue Reading Child Passenger Safety Week ››
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When we talk about DOT's TIGER program, we often use the word, "transformative." Because the projects that we have selected for these grants since the program's beginning in 2009 have been projects that make a significant difference to their communities.

And this past weekend in Tulsa, I saw a terrific demonstration of TIGER's transformative power in not one --but two-- grrrrrreat! projects, the I-244 Bridges and the Riverside Drive-Gathering Place Multimodal Access Project...

Photo of Victor Mendez in Tulsa
Deputy Transportation Secretary Victor Mendez speaking at ribbon-cutting for I-244 Eastbound Bridge; photos by Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World.
Continue Reading DOT's TIGER, ››
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Over the past few days, I've toured some of the projects selected to receive TIGER grants this year, and that includes the TRI-Mississippi Three-County Road Improvements Program. Now, Claiborne, Franklin, and Jefferson are among those counties with the fewest transportation options in America. To get anywhere in these rural counties –to run errands, to go to school, to commute to area employers like Grand Gulf Nuclear– you have to drive. There’s no other option.

Which would be fine. Except, the counties’ roads are crumbling; they flood easily; and their bridges are greatly in need of repair.  In fact, 60 area bridges are rated “deficient.”

Photo of bridge in Franklin County

That’s why, this year, all of us at DOT were so pleased that Claiborne, Franklin, and Jefferson counties developed TRI-Mississippi to fix this problem...

Continue Reading TIGER ready to connect ››
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Five years ago, FHWA launched “Every Day Counts” (EDC), an initiative to speed up the delivery of highway projects and to address the challenges presented by strapped state transportation budgets. When it came to the business of delivering projects, our goals were simple yet ambitious: find ways to save time, save money, and save lives.

Working closely with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), we’ve selected and promoted 34 innovations to our EDC roster, including 11 that we added just last month. This state-based effort is identifying and rapidly deploying proven but underutilized innovations to shorten project delivery, enhance roadway safety, reduce congestion, and improve environmental sustainability.

Regardless of what state you’re in, chances are you’ll see some of these innovations at work...

Photo of bridge sliding into place

Continue Reading Every Day Counts and ››
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Photo of U.S.M.M.A. football players

We knew the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s win streak over the U.S. Coast Guard Academy couldn't last forever.

But through nearly three quarters of Saturday's football matchup between the USMMA Mariners —representing DOT— and the CGA Bears —representing the Department of Homeland Security— the Secretaries' Cup looked to be staying with the Mariners for a fourth straight year...

Continue Reading Strong comeback earns Coast ››
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The Everglades in Florida is one of America’s great treasures, a natural wonder that is home to thousands of species of fish and wildlife and Indian tribes who have called these lands home for millennia. It is also one of our most imperiled ecosystems, threatened by loss of water quality, well-intentioned but ecologically damaging water control projects of the past, and invasive species – all further exacerbated by the effects of a changing climate.

In recent decades, the Department of the Interior has worked hand-in-hand with the State of Florida, other federal agencies, tribes, conservation groups, private landowners, and other stakeholders to restore this great treasure.  We established the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area to conserve one of America’s last grassland and longleaf pine savannah landscapes while preserving the traditional way of life cherished by those who live in this area.

Last week, the Department of Transportation announced another important step in this process, approving a $20 million TIGER grant to help construct a 2.6-mile bridge across US-41 – the Tamiami Trail – in Miami Dade County to restore the flow of water through the Everglades.  I commend the strong leadership of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and the State of Florida for making this critical restoration effort a priority.

Continue Reading Interior Secretary Jewell: ››
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Today, I’m pleased to announce the sixth round of DOT’s TIGER program. We’re making nearly $600 million in grants and awarding them to 72 transportation projects across 46 states and in DC.

Over the last six years, we’ve awarded more than $4 billion in these TIGER grants, but this round of investment is probably the most crucial ever...

Map of U.S. showing locations of TIGER projects

Continue Reading DOT's TIGER is on the ››
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