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Minnesota's rebuilt I-35 Bridge just one example of what we can accomplish

Photo of Secretary Foxx speaking with new I-35W Bridge in the backgroundNearly six years ago, the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed into the Mississippi River. Yesterday, I toured the new I-35W crossing--which was rebuilt in little over a year and has become a symbol of what we can achieve when we commit ourselves and work together to meet the challenges facing America's roadways.

By collaborating at the local, state, and federal levels, transportation officials were able to complete the new I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge more than three months ahead of schedule. So, no one appreciates the value of a strong commitment and an effective partnership more than U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, who hosted my visit.

Our nation has grown faster than the capacity of our roadways. Across the country, commuters rushing to work, students heading to class, and moms and dads taking their kids to camps, schools, and day-care centers regularly drive over bridges that are carrying loads far beyond their intended capacity and far beyond their intended lifespan.

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Putting rail on par with other modes of transportation will build on strong progress

This morning I was in New Haven, Connecticut, to talk about safety because I wanted my first official visit as Secretary to focus on DOT's first priority--safety. So, many thanks to Governor Dannel Malloy, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, and U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro for welcoming me and giving me the opportunity to start my official travel on the right track.

If you follow transportation news, you probably remember the crash this spring of two Metro-North commuter trains in Connecticut. Although 2012 was the safest year in railroading history, the Metro-North crash reminds us that--when it comes to safety--our job is never done.

The investments we’re making in rail are increasing safety across the country. They are also helping local and state economies grow.

Photo of Secretary Foxx speaking in the New Haven station

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From technology to financing, we must use every tool at our disposal

When we talk about making transportation safer and stronger, and being more efficient as we improve the roads, rails, bridges, and buses we leave for the next generation of Americans, we're not talking about filling in potholes. We're talking about a transportation system that is stronger for the long-term. And to make that happen, we need every tool in the box...and a few we haven't even thought of yet.

Because just as the men and women of today need to be able to get to jobs or school without having to fight traffic or stand in the hot summer sun waiting for the bus, our kids and the kids of our neighbors and friends will need transportation that works tomorrow.

They are counting on us to give them an America that is stronger than the one we inherited--just as those who came before us left a rail network that stretched from coast to coast and then an interstate highway network that connected communities across the nation. From new technologies to public private partnerships, we must use every tool at our disposal to make our transportation system better.

Photo of Secretary Foxx speaking with U.S. and D.O.T. flags behind him

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FTA-funded doubling of popular light rail line will connect downtown to UNC, ease traffic, put thousands to work

At the Federal Transit Administration, we know that improved transportation has been one of the best examples of what one generation can leave to the next. And yesterday, at the groundbreaking for the 9.3-mile extension of its popular LYNX light rail Blue Line, I saw the city of Charlotte, NC, affirm that idea.

The new extension will double the length of the existing light rail system, create new development opportunities along the line, and significantly expand transit options for thousands of residents and students in the rapidly growing Charlotte region.

Photo of LYNX Blue Line light rail train in crowded station

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PHMSA cuts red tape, steps up efficiency for businesses

Earlier today, Secretary Foxx wrote about DOT efforts to improve efficiency in transportation. Recent changes to the approval process for transporting consumer fireworks offer a terrific example of DOT stepping up to meet this challenge.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has revised the process to speed approvals while continuing to meet strict safety requirements. Adding an efficient transport certification process will allow importers and shippers to get their goods to buyers with less delay and less red tape.

Photo of Hazardous Materials signage for HazMat Carriers

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Smart general aviation pilots won’t fly if they are taking a prescription that says Do not drive or operate machinery while taking this medication. But sometimes it’s not that clear-cut. Other prescription drugs and even some over-the-counter medicines can affect a pilot’s performance.

That’s why Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta and the heads of 11 aviation associations sent a letter to all U.S.-registered pilots urging them to be more aware of the effect both prescribed medicines and non-prescription drugs can have on their skills and judgment.

Photo of general aviation aircraft on approach to land

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During my public swearing-in at DOT headquarters last week, I said that this Administration has an important mission: to build a stronger America, to create jobs, and to prepare the next generation to succeed in a global economy. For DOT that means working to improve the efficiency and performance of our existing transportation system. But, it means doing so in an era when we must work harder than ever to stretch our transportation dollar.

That's no small challenge. The American people are counting on us to be good stewards of their tax dollars even as we also build and maintain the roads, bridges, ports, buses, rails, and runways they need.

The good news? This Department has been getting better and better at improving the way we deliver the benefits of transportation to the American people.

Photo of Secretary Foxx speaking at his public swearing in with his family and Vice President Biden watching

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At a time when millions of Americans are traveling or thinking about summer travel on our roadways, there is no time like the present to stay focused on driving safety. A moment's distraction behind the wheel can be all it takes to turn your summer vacation into a tragic crash.

Fortunately, DOT has terrific safety partners to help get the word out that distracted driving threatens the safety of everyone on the road. AAA and the Automobile Club of Southern California have teamed up with DreamWorks Animation for a special public service announcement aimed at reducing distracted driving. 

The PSA features AAA IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves and Turbo, a character from the new 3D racing comedy, Turbo. Together, these two "drivers" do a great job sharing a great message!

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FMCSA investigation leads to shut-downs, civil penalties for safety and commercial violations

This year alone, more than 35 million Americans will move. It can be an exciting time; it can also be a stressful time--the items so familiar to your everyday life are closed into boxes, packed onto a truck, and shipped to a promising but unfamiliar new location.

To help ease your mind, protect your money, and preserve your memories, we want to ensure that everyone who moves is treated fairly by their moving company.

Too often, we hear from people who were tricked by moving companies who disappeared with their goods or held their goods hostage for more money. That's why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is working so hard to protect consumers from unscrupulous carriers. And today, we announced that we are revoking or suspending the interstate operating authority of three Chicago-area household goods moving companies because of serious violations of safety and commercial regulations.

Photo of 2 men loading a couch onto a moving truck

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Earlier this month, in a post about the opening of the Mission Transit Center, we included a video from the Kansas City area's Mid-America Regional Council. Today, we've got the latest video in MARC’s TIGER series, a May 2013 progress report highlighting the transportation improvements TIGER is bringing to Kansas City.

Thanks to MARC for keeping the region's residents--and all of us--updated on the TIGER front!

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