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New Memorial Bridge: Innovation at Work

New Memorial Bridge: Innovation at Work

Today it was great to be back in Portsmouth to celebrate the opening of the new Memorial Bridge, a vital connector for the people of both New Hampshire and Maine.  I was here 18 months ago, on a cold February day, to see some of the demolition work on the old bridge, and it’s fair to say we wouldn’t have been there today without a tremendous team effort by the leadership, congressional delegations and transportation officials of both states.

Photo of Victor Mendez

That teamwork was especially helpful in securing a $20 million TIGER grant that helped move this project forward.  The bridge is a perfect example of what transportation is all about.  It links cities and states.  It joins communities and families.  It supports jobs and businesses.

President Obama knows the important role infrastructure plays in our economic recovery.  And he knows – the importance of continuing to invest in infrastructure – it’s part of his “grand bargain” for good, middle class jobs.

The construction jobs created by this project were certainly welcome in the homes and businesses of this community.  Now, this bridge will help support economic growth for years to come as we continue to strengthen America’s economy and increase our competitiveness.

As an engineer, I’ve been impressed with the process that went into delivering this bridge.  The two states used a form of innovative contracting known as Design-Build to get this project moving and keep it on track.  Design-Build is one of the strategies we’re advancing through an initiative called Every Day Counts, which offers states a number of ideas for speeding project delivery.  It’s exciting to see a project going beyond ‘newer and better’ by using ingenuity and cutting-edge approaches

Memorial Bridge Opening in New Hampshire

So well done, Maine and New Hampshire!  Thanks for showing the nation how to put innovation to work!

Victor Mendez is Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration.

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I have worked on projects with local government, and it is always a pleasure to see a project to end successfully. Infrastructure is crucial to our future and so projects like these are important to support.