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America's cities face a number of transportation challenges, not the least of which is anticipated population growth over the next two decades and endangered federal investment in the transportation necessary to move those new residents and the goods they will need. For the last three days, however, a group of more than 300 innovative leaders gathered in Los Angeles to help chart a course toward meeting those challenges.

Now in its second year, CityLab --sponsored by The Atlantic, the Aspen Institute, and Bloomberg Philanthropies-- brings together mayors, urban experts, city planners, writers, technologists, economists, and designers from around the world in a constructive dialogue about creating scalable solutions for city leaders to share with their communities...

Photo of Secretary Foxx meeting construction workers on LA Downtown Regional Connector project

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If you read my Fast Lane post from yesterday, then you know I was in Kansas City on Monday. And in addition to seeing the Prospect Avenue corridor on that trip, I also was able to visit the workers who are replacing the city's Manchester Bridge.

This bridge serves 90,000 vehicles a day; it feeds tons of freight into the Blue Valley Industrial District. But the current structure has deteriorated to the point where it has required repair after repair in recent years just to keep stay open.

Now, thanks to recent investment, the bridge will soon be able to move people and goods safely and reliably for generations to come. So, yes, we’re proud of that, but –to be honest– we’re also concerned...

Photo of Secretary Foxx with KC construction workers

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The Prospect Avenue corridor in Kansas City, Missouri, has been struggling a bit from underinvestment in recent years, but --with some help from DOT-- that is changing.

A lot of people living along this corridor rely on the bus to get to work, to school, to medical appointments.  The Route 71 bus –which is just one of three routes on Prospect Corridor– carries 6,000 riders a day. But right now for some people, especially people with disabilities, taking the bus isn’t always an option because the infrastructure at and around the bus stops isn’t doing the job it’s supposed to...

Photo of Secretary Foxx looking at gaping hole in kansas city sidewalk
Continue Reading Transportation improvements ››
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I met some good people yesterday. Yerimi Felipe and Roxana Espino work building rail transit cars at the Kawasaki Plant in Lincoln, Nebraska. That's 1,000 miles from Washington, DC, and it's probably safe to say that no one in Washington knows Yerimi and Roxana. That includes the DC-area commuters who will someday be riding in the new Metro cars built in Lincoln. And that includes the Members of Congress whose decisions on transportation funding in the coming months will have a profound impact on Yerimi, Roxana, and their co-workers in Nebraska.

Yerimi builds some of the railcar doors; Roxana does wiring for communication systems.  They're married, with two kids, and they're trying to figure out how to send their son, Kelvin, to college next year. They work hard; they have busy lives.  So they don’t necessarily have time to follow everything that’s going on in DC. Nevertheless, Yerimi and Roxana say they trust that Congress will do what's best for the people.

I hope they're right...

Photo of Secretary Foxx speaking with workers at Kawaskai's Lincoln, NE railcar plant

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Last week, I had the chance to visit Waterbury, Connecticut, and St. Louis, Missouri, where I had the pleasure of announcing two exciting and transformative TIGER grants that will help invigorate these communities.

With the support of TIGER, these projects will help connect people to jobs, schools, and green spaces --and in doing so, improve their quality of life and access to opportunities...

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Since Hurricane Sandy, we've made great progress rebuilding critical transit connections. But as we grapple with the impacts of climate change and the potential for stronger storms in the future, we want to make sure no one pays for these repairs twice. So today, DOT announced that 40 projects in areas affected by Sandy have been selected for $3.59 billion in grants to help public transportation systems become stronger and better able to withstand future storms.

Within hours after Sandy hit, men and women from DOT were on the ground –sometimes waist-deep in water– working shoulder-to-shoulder with local teams to assess the damage and to help repair the busiest public transportation network in the United States.

Today, we’ve reached another milestone in that effort. Because we know it’s not enough to recover from the last storm; we have to rebuild to withstand the next one.

Photo of South Ferry subway station after Hurricane Sandy

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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.

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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...

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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

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