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Vice President Biden Applauds States for Meeting Recovery Act Milestone Ahead of Schedule (06/25/09)

DOT 89-09
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Contact:  Cathy St. Denis
Tel:  202-366-0660

Vice President Biden Applauds States for
Meeting Recovery Act Milestone Ahead of Schedule

All 55 U.S. States and Territories Obligate Half of
ARRA Highways Funding Ten Days Ahead of Schedule

Washington, DCVice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that transportation projects funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) are putting people to work and building a foundation for the country’s long-term economic strength. 

To date, $19 billion has been obligated to fund over 5,300 approved for highway and other transportation projects nationwide. Of those, 1,900 projects are already underway.

As part of the Administration’s effort to infuse Recovery Act funds swiftly into the economy, states are required under the Recovery Act to obligate 50 percent of their highway funds by June 29, 2009.  Working in coordination with the U.S. Department of Transportation, all 55 U.S. states and territories successfully beat this deadline at least 10 days ahead of schedule. 

“Our number one priority with the Recovery Act is getting folks back to work – and there is no better way to do that in these early days than by putting shovels in the ground and jump-starting projects like these that create jobs and boost local communities,” said Vice President Biden.  “By delivering on these projects ahead of schedule and under-budget, we have been able to do even more than we expected -- create more job opportunities more quickly, with more dollars left over to put toward more projects that put people back on the job.”

Across the country, transportation projects funded by the Recovery Act are coming in under budget and ahead of schedule. States are routinely receiving low bids for highway and airport construction projects that are 10 to 20 percent, and in some cases, 30 percent lower than expected. These lower than expected bids are allowing states to stretch taxpayer dollars, complete additional projects and create even more American jobs.

“Every state not only met the 120-day deadline, they beat it,” said Secretary LaHood.  “This is a testament to the fact that we’re putting money out there quickly and helping to get the economy back on track.”

ARRA funding for highway projects may be used for restoration, repair, construction, and other activities under the Surface Transportation Program. Each proposed project must be approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Governors must certify that proposed projects meet certain conditions and that the state will use ARRA funds in addition to, not in replacement of, state funding of transportation projects.

Priority is given to projects that are projected to be completed within three years, are located in economically distressed areas, or will maximize job creation and economic benefits.

Highway Obligation Deadline Information

State:                                      Date 50% Met                                   Funds Put to work
Alabama                                  June 5, 2009                                        $205,178,421.34
Alaska                                     June 12, 2009                                      $68,800,219
Arizona                                   April 21, 2009                                     $260,320,032.35
Arkansas                                 April 17, 2009                                     $136,928,664
California                                May 1, 2009                                        $1,182,215,372
Colorado                                 May 7, 2009                                         $210,616,018
Connecticut                              April 22, 2009                                     $175,151,318
Delaware                                 June 17, 2009                                      $44,038,350.71
District of Columbia               April 22, 2009                                     $82,565,030.43
Florida                                     May 6, 2009                                        $877,594,135
Georgia                                   June 17, 2009                                      $377,480,128.33
Hawaii                                      June 19, 2009                                      $46,222,408.61
Idaho                                       April 24, 2009                                     $88,032,562
Illinois                                      March 10, 2009                                   $598,015,458
Indiana                                    April 27, 2009                                     $282,946,089.96
Iowa                                        March 11, 2009                                   $223,871,877
Kansas                                     April 22, 2009                                      $209,905,329.6
Kentucky                                 May 21, 2009                                      $165,284,312
Louisiana                                  May 18, 2009                                      $198,588,287.98
Maine                                       March 6, 2009                                     $91,526,422
Maryland                                  March 20, 2009                                   $192,409,233
Massachusetts                          June 12, 2009                                      $173,530,958
Michigan                                  June 2, 2009                                        $318,097,511.02
Minnesota                               April 20, 2009                                     $199,833,222.34
Mississippi                                April 23, 2009                                      $214,782,700
Missouri                                  May 20, 2009                                      $320,569,742.4
Montana                                  June 12, 2009                                      $81,262,208
Nebraska                                 April 17, 2009                                     $109,207,334
Nevada                                    June 18, 2009                                      $71,288,539
New Hampshire                      March 18, 2009                                   $88,022,625.99
New Jersey                              March 31, 2009                                   $365,794,829
New Mexico                           May 11, 2009                                      $143,393,729.04
New York                               May 26, 2009                                      $491,431,091
North Carolina                        May 8, 2009                                        $314,285,061
North Dakota                          April 15, 2009                                     $74,971,253.31
Ohio                                         June 18, 2009                                      $338,895,927.5
Oklahoma                                March 16, 2009                                   $307,198,208
Oregon                                     April 21, 2009                                      $155,807,073.87
Pennsylvania                           May 20, 2009                                        $447,678,440
Rhode Island                            April 7, 2009                                       $91,142,181.43
South Carolina                        April 2, 2009                                       $168,895,623.07
South Dakota                          April 1, 2009                                       $77,283,524.03
Tennessee                                April 7, 2009                                        $366,081,694
Texas                                       June 12, 2009                                      $960,719,966.53
Utah                                        March 12, 2009                                   $145,571,644.97
Vermont                                  May 6, 2009                                        $53,069,059.08
Virginia                                     June 17, 2009                                      $285,186,164
Washington                              April 27, 2009                                      $250,653,384
West Virginia                            June 4, 2009                                        $115,969,114.19
Wisconsin                                 April 20, 2009                                      $270,422,647.78
Wyoming                                April 24, 2009                                          $98,729,721

Secretary LaHood: TIGER Discretionary Grants Will Target Major-Impact Transportation Projects, Job Creation (05/15/09)

DOT 69-09
Friday, May 15, 2009
Contact: Jill Zuckman
Tel.: (202) 366-4570

Secretary LaHood: TIGER Discretionary Grants Will Target Major-Impact Transportation Projects, Job Creation

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced the availability of $1.5 billion in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grants for capital investment in surface transportation projects. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis to projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a region or metropolitan area and can create jobs and benefit economically distressed areas.

“TIGER discretionary funding will open up the door to many new innovative and cutting-edge transportation projects,” said Secretary LaHood. “This is exciting news and I believe that these projects will promote greater mobility, a cleaner environment and more livable communities.”

The grants can range from $20 million up to $300 million to support high impact transportation projects. Secretary LaHood can waive the minimum grant requirement for beneficial projects in smaller cities, regions or states. The U.S. Department of Transportation will require rigorous economic justifications for projects over $100 million. To ensure responsible spending, the department will require all fund recipients to report on their activities on a routine basis.

The solicitation published in the Federal Register today provides clear criteria for the department to make merit-based decisions on the new discretionary program.

Primary selection criteria include contributing to the medium- to long-term economic competitiveness of the nation, improving the condition of existing transportation facilities and systems, improving the quality of living and working environments through livable communities, improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the safety of U.S. transportation facilities.

The Department will also give priority to projects that are expected to quickly create and preserve jobs and stimulate rapid increases in economic activity, especially projects that will benefit economically distressed areas.

Applications for TIGER discretionary grants must be submitted by September 15, 2009, from state and local governments, including U.S. territories, tribal governments, transit agencies, port authorities and others. Comments on the criteria must be received by June 1, 2009.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $742.5 Million in Federal Recovery Act Funds to Pay for Transit Projects in Nine States (05/07/09)

DOT 64-09
Contact: Paul Griffo, Tel.: (202) 366-4064
Thursday, May 07, 2009

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $742.5 Million in Federal Recovery Act Funds to Pay for Transit Projects in Nine States

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that transit projects around the country will receive $742.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds.

“This money will not only put people back to work and spur the economy, it will also provide an alternative form of transportation for people around the country to get to their homes, work and school,” Secretary LaHood said.

The grants will go toward projects for which the Federal Transit Administration has already entered into multi-year federal commitments known as “full funding grant agreements,” in Arizona, California, Colorado, New York, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington State.

The ARRA grants announced today do not increase the federal commitment to the projects, but expedite funds committed under the agreement between the federal government and the transit agencies.

The arrival of federal funds will allow the transit agencies to save on financing costs while putting additional dollars into the local economy; will supplement local resources, which have declined during the economic downturn, and allow for a quicker investment in the project.

Projects receiving funding are listed below.

Projects receiving funding are listed below.

Arizona ......................Phoenix-Central Phoenix/East Valley Light Rail ...............$36 Million
California ...................Los Angeles – Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension .........$66.7 Million
Colorado ...................Denver – West Corridor Light Rail Transit .......................$40 Million
New York .................New York – Long Island Rail Road East Side Access .....$195.4 Million
...................................New York – Second Avenue Subway Phase I ................$78.9 Million
Oregon .......................Portland – South Corridor I-205/Portland Mall LRT....... $32 Million
...................................Springfield – Pioneer Parkway EmX BRT........................ $2.9 Million
Texas .........................Dallas – Northwest/Southeast Light Rail Transit................ $78.4 Million
Utah ...........................Salt Lake City – Mid Jordan Light Rail Transit .................$90.9 Million
Virginia .......................Northern Virginia – Dulles Corridor Metrorail Extension
....................................To Wiehle Aveune .........................................................$77.3 Million
Washington .................Seattle – University Link Light Rail Transit Extension .......$44 Million

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $258 Million in Economic Recovery Funds for Airports Across the United States (04/08/09)

DOT 43-09
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Contact: Jill Zuckman
Tel.: (202) 366-4570

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $258 Million in Economic Recovery Funds for Airports Across the United States

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today announced that airports around the country will receive $258 million under the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

“Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act we are creating jobs across the country while investing in the long-term safety and economic vitality of our airports,” said Secretary LaHood.

The Federal Aviation Administration will provide funding for airports in Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

About 3,400 airports designated as part of the national airport system are eligible to receive ARRA funds. The FAA is moving swiftly to work with airport sponsors to ensure eligible projects have completed or nearly completed, design and planning requirements.

Under ARRA, the FAA received $1.1 billion to allocate to qualified airports on a discretionary basis. That funding will be distributed based on a project priority system that addresses airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.

Secretary LaHood said the Obama Administration is committed to getting ARRA money into the economy as quickly as possible. He noted that President Obama signed the ARRA into law on February 17, less than one month after taking the oath of office. Less than two weeks later, on March 3, LaHood joined President Obama and Vice President Biden at an historic announcement at the U.S. Department of Transportation to mark the release of $26.6 billion to the states and localities for highways, roads and bridges. The release of funds came eight days earlier than required by law.

On March 5, Secretary LaHood joined Vice President Biden and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz to announce the availability of $8.4 billion for transit infrastructure. On March 12, Secretary LaHood announced that Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County Airports had received the first funding allocations for airport infrastructure projects, and on March 13, Vice President Biden announced that DOT made $1.3 billion available to Amtrak for capital and security improvements.

Secretary LaHood noted that in early February, prior to the passage of the ARRA, he had established a team within the Department of Transportation to ensure that economic recovery funding is rapidly made available for transportation infrastructure projects and that project spending is monitored and transparent.

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $229 Million in Economic Recovery Funds for Aviation (03/27/09)

DOT 39-09
Friday, March 27, 2009
Contact: Jill Zuckman
Tel.: (202) 366-4570

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $229 Million in Economic Recovery Funds for Aviation

WASHINGTON, DC U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today announced more than $229 million for aviation infrastructure under the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

"This Administration is committed to getting the U.S. economy going again and these grants are a part of making that happen, said Secretary LaHood. "This grant represents a critical investment in our nation's airport infrastructure that will boost the local economy by providing jobs for the area.

The following states and territories will receive ARRA aviation grants: Alaska, Alabama, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Northern Mariania Islands, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.

About 3,400 airports designated as part of the national airport system are eligible to receive ARRA funds. The FAA is moving swiftly to work with airport sponsors to ensure eligible projects have completed or nearly completed, design and planning requirements.

Under ARRA, the FAA received $1.1 billion to allocate to qualified airports on a discretionary basis. That funding will be distributed based on a project priority system that addresses airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.

Secretary LaHood said the Obama Administration is committed to getting ARRA money into the economy as quickly as possible. He noted that President Obama signed the ARRA into law on February 17, less than one month after taking the oath of office. Less than two weeks later, on March 3, LaHood joined President Obama and Vice President Biden at an historic announcement at the U.S. Department of Transportation to mark the release of $26.6 billion to the states and localities for highways, roads and bridges. The release of funds came eight days earlier than required by law.

On March 5, Secretary LaHood joined Vice President Biden and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz to announce the availability of $8.4 billion for transit infrastructure. On March 12, Secretary LaHood announced that Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County Airports had received the first funding allocations for airport infrastructure projects, and on March 13, Vice President Biden announced that DOT made $1.3 billion available to Amtrak for capital and security improvements.

Secretary LaHood noted that in early February, prior to the passage of the ARRA, he had established a team within the Department of Transportation to ensure that economic recovery funding is rapidly made available for transportation infrastructure projects and that project spending is monitored and transparent.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Brings $36 Million in Federal Recovery Act Funds to Pay for Central Phoenix/East Valley Light Rail (03/27/09)

DOT 37-09
Friday, March 27, 2009
Contact: Bill Adams
Tel.: (202) 366-4570

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Brings $36 Million in Federal Recovery Act Funds to Pay for Central Phoenix/East Valley Light Rail

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was joined by Valley Metro Rail officials and local leaders this morning to take part in a ceremony to announce $36 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds for the Central Phoenix/East Valley Light Rail Project.

This light rail project has been an engine for growth in the Phoenix area, LaHood said. And these recovery funds will ensure that transit continues to stimulate Arizona's economy.

The ARRA funds will help to complete the rail line and allow Valley Metro to begin work on the extension, which is expected to create 10,000 jobs over the life of the project. Funds will be used for signal work, communications, an operations control center, and further testing of two light rail cars to be put into service.

The arrival of federal funds supplements local resources, which have declined during the economic downturn, and allows for a quicker investment in the extension.

In 2005, the Federal Transit Administration signed a full funding grant agreement to provide $587 million, or 42 percent, of the $1.4 billion, 19.6-mile project, to be paid out over six years. Today's allotment amounts to an advance of a portion of the projects 2010 payout amount.

This project demonstrates that transit serves as a focal point for new development in Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa, LaHood said. By getting these funds to you now, we're providing a boost that will help other very important transit projects to keep moving forward  while also stimulating the local economy.

Major activity centers along the light rail route include Sky Harbor Airport, Arizona State University, Papago Park Center, the Phoenix Convention Center, Chase Field, US Airways Arena and Sun Devil Stadium. Valley Metro Rail expects to carry almost 50,000 riders each weekday by the year 2020.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces More Than $28 Million for Arizona Airports Under Economic Recovery Act (03/26/09)

DOT 35-09
Contact: Bill Adams, Tel.: (202)  366-4570 .
Thursday,  March 26, 2009

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces More Than $28 Million for Arizona Airports Under Economic Recovery Act

PHOENIX - U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today announced more than $28 million for Arizona airports under the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), including a $10.5 million grant for taxiway rehabilitation at the heavily traveled Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

This Administration is committed to getting the U.S. economy going again and these grants are part of making that happen, said Secretary LaHood. We are creating jobs here in Arizona while investing in the long-term safety and economic vitality of our airports.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport will pay for improvements to Taxiway C, a major taxiway on the airport's north side. The project includes replacing asphalt with more durable concrete, as well as installing new pavement marking, lighting and signs.  Phoenix Sky Harbor served about 40 million passengers last year.

Secretary LaHood said the following Arizona airports will also receive ARRA funding.

    Tucson International Airport will receive $1.85 million for installing new security equipment.

    Sierra Vista Municipal Airport in, Sierra Vista, Arizona, will receive $6 million to rehabilitate Runway 12/30.

    Kingman Airport in Kingman Arizona will receive $5 million to rehabilitate aircraft parking aprons.

    Taylor Municipal Airport in Taylor Arizona will receive $3.5 million to rehabilitate a runway.

    Avi Suquilla Airport in Parker, Arizona will receive $1.8 million to rehabilitate two taxiways.

About 3,400 airports designated as part of the national airport system are eligible to receive Recovery Act funds. The FAA is moving swiftly to work with airport sponsors to ensure that eligible projects have completed, or nearly completed, design and planning requirements.

Under the Recovery Act, the FAA received $1.1 billion for qualified airports on a discretionary basis. That funding will be allocated based on a project priority system that addresses airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.

Secretary LaHood said the Obama Administration is committed to getting ARRA money into the economy as quickly as possible.  He noted that President Obama signed the ARRA into law on February 17, less than one month after taking the oath of office.  Less than two weeks later, on March 3, LaHood joined President Obama and Vice President Biden at an historic announcement at the U.S. Department of Transportation to mark the release of $26.6 billion to the states and localities for highways, roads and bridges.  The release of funds came eight days earlier than required by law.

On March 5, Secretary LaHood joined Vice President Biden and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz to announce the availability of $8.4 billion for transit infrastructure.  On March 12, Secretary LaHood announced that Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County Airports had received the first funding allocations for airport infrastructure projects, and on March 13, Vice President Biden announced that DOT made $1.3 billion available to Amtrak for capital and security improvements. 

Secretary LaHood noted that in early February, prior to the passage of the ARRA, he had established a team within the Department of Transportation to ensure that economic recovery funding is rapidly made available for transportation infrastructure projects and that project spending is monitored and transparent.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Recovery Act Funding for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (03/24/09)

FTA 05-09
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Contact: Paul Griffo
Tel.: 202-366-4064

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Recovery Act Funding for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction

Washington, DC The U.S. Secretary of Transportation today announced the availability of $100 million in federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 2009 for the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction grant program.

Projects will compete for a portion of the funds on the basis of how much their proposed capital investment is expected to reduce either energy consumption or greenhouse gases, or both.

This grant program establishes the transit industry as a leader in reducing America's dependence on foreign oil, addressing global climate change and creating green jobs, said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Transit agencies may apply under this grant program. Additionally, other public organizations such as State Departments of Transportation can submit consolidated project proposals on behalf of transit agencies. Grants will be made for particular projects directly to public transportation agencies.

In addition to the anticipated reduction in energy or greenhouse gasses, the projects will be rated on their return on investment, readiness to implement, the capacity of the applicant, the degree of innovation, and their national applicability.

FTA will post application instructions, answers to common questions, and a calculator to assist in developing information on energy consumption or greenhouse gas emission reduction on its website at www.fta.dot.gov. Potential applicants may also register for updates to program information at this site.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Recovery Act Funding for Tribal Transit  (03/24/09)

FTA 04-09
Contact:  Paul Griffo, Tel.:  (202) 366-4064
Monday, March 23, 2009

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Recovery Act Funding for Tribal Transit

Washington, DC The U.S. Secretary of Transportation today announced allocation of $17 million in federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 2009 for the Federal Transit Administration's Tribal Transit Program.

These additional funds will advance the expansion of much needed transit services on our nation's tribal lands, said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. That means more job creation and greater access to those jobs.

The ARRA tribal transit funds will provide grants to Indian tribes for capital expenditures including transit equipment and facilities.  Participants under this program include federally recognized Indian Tribes or Alaska Native villages, groups, or communities as identified by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior.  

A notice soliciting project proposals to be selected on a competitive basis was published today in the Federal Register.  The notice includes application procedures, the criteria that FTA will utilize to select projects, and grant terms, conditions, and reporting requirements.

Tribes will have 60 days to submit project proposals.  The Federal Register notice can be found at: http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/leg_reg_federal_register.html.

Once projects are selected and funding is awarded, tribal recipients must obligate funds by September 30, 2010.  Interested parties are encouraged to contact the nearest FTA Regional Office for additional information on the ARRA Tribal Transit Program.  A contact list of FTA regional offices may be found at www.fta.dot.gov.

Middle Class Task Force Holds Town Hall Meeting on the Recovery Act (03/19/09)

March 19, 2009 

Middle Class Task Force Holds Town Hall Meeting on the Recovery Act 

www.AStrongMiddleClass.gov

Minnesota: Today in St. Cloud, Minnesota, the Middle Class Task Force is holding a town hall meeting, titled Road to Recovery: Building a Strong Middle Class through the Recovery Act. The town hall discussion will focus on ways implementation of the Recovery Act will help the middle class. The Task Force is holding its meeting at the New Flyer of America Bus Company in St. Cloud, Minnesota.  

Our task today is to hear directly from middle class folks and answer the questions they have about what the Recovery Act means for them, said Vice President Biden.  We heard from the experts last time and now its time to hear directly from those hit hardest by our economic crisis. My hope today is that we answer questions, but also get some ideas for what the federal government can do better.     

At the town hall, the Vice President is joined by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Improving the lives of people in Main Street America is a major priority of the Obama Administration, said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. The New Flyer plant in St. Cloud is a great example of how continued investment in research and production of alternative fuels will not only help improve the environment, but create much needed jobs in rural America.

In this time of economic crisis, we must take bold action to build new pathways to the middle class, preserve the quality of life for middle class families, and protect neighborhoods from decay, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said.  At HUD, we are focusing our work on collaborating with other agencies, creating new middle class jobs, providing stability of housing to American families and strengthening neighborhoods across the nation.

Now is the time to transform the way transportation serves the American people, said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHoodWe need to promote strong and connected communities that provide safe and affordable access to work, medical services, schools, shopping, recreation and other essential activities.

And so our challenge is to work together to address all of the needs of the middle class from schools to homes to jobs because people are really hurting today and it's not enough to fix one part while neglecting another,  said Education Secretary Arne Duncan. We need to get our families, our schools, our communities and our economy all working again.   And we're doing our part.

The Middle Class Task Force is holding a town hall on the Recovery Act at the New Flyer of America Bus Company plant in St. Cloud because it is employing people in our country building low-emission, alternative fueled buses. The New Flyer of America plant in St. Cloud has hired more than 90 people in 2008, rounding out its unionized workforce of 650 employees, who are working around the clock to fulfill a two-year backlog of orders. The success of the St. Cloud plant is a model for creating jobs in America the kind of economic growth the Recovery Act aims to spur.   

The St. Cloud plant represents what the Recovery Act is about:  creating good paying jobs for American workers and expanding our public transportation system in order to build a cleaner, greener economy all at the same time.   

A central goal of the Middle Class Taskforce is to identify public policies that will help middle class families by improving their living standards.  This taskforce goal is an especially important one, because even in normal times of economic growth in recent years, the middle class has not gotten very far ahead.  In fact, even during the economic expansion of the 2000s, as we show below, the real income of working-age, middle-class households actually fell by about $2,000. 

In this current period of widespread economic hardship, a key tool for helping these families is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA.  The Middle Class Task Force released a staff report today focusing on how the ARRA helps middle-income families. 

Some of the key findings from the report include:

  • Jobs created by the ARRA are predicted to lower the unemployment rate by about two percentage points.  We expect this change to increase middle-class incomes by $1,300, or 2.3%;
  • Depending on family-type and circumstances, the tax benefits from the ARRA provisions can add $2,000 or more to after-tax family income;
  • Combining job and tax effects, the ARRA will lift incomes by around $3,000 for many middle-class families, significantly offsetting their income losses over the recession; and
  • For middle-class families hit with spells of unemployment, tax credits and safety net expansion in the ARRA, combined with existing unemployment insurance programs, can replace much of the income loss that occurs when a wage-earner in the family loses his or her job.

The full staff report can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/staff_report_ARRA-FINAL.pdf

DOT Moving Quickly to Use Transportation Funding for Economic Recovery, Transportation Secretary LaHood Says (03/17/09)

DOT 31-09
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Contact: Jill Zuckman
Tel.: (202) 366-4570

DOT Moving Quickly to Use Transportation Funding for Economic Recovery, Transportation Secretary LaHood Says

The U.S. Department of Transportation is keeping its promise to use its economic recovery funding to invest in the nation's transportation system and create jobs, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today.

In remarks to the National League of Cities in Washington, Secretary LaHood told the gathering of urban officials that the Department has moved quickly to release funds to state offices and transit agencies.

In a very short time, your cities will be humming with construction workers, engineers, maintenance crews and many others, Secretary LaHood said. You'll see roads repaved, interchanges improved, bus and rail systems repaired, upgraded, and expanded.

This effort not only puts people to work -- it gets people to work in a way that moves us towards our long-term goals of energy security and more livable communities, he added.

In addition to funding currently being allocated, there soon will be additional opportunities to compete for discretionary funds for transportation projects, he said. A team of senior officials across the Department  the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) team is tracking every dollar spent in order to ensure accountability and transparency, he added.

LaHood added that the new authorization bill for highway and transit programs, soon be taken up by Congress, will help keep people employed and transportation healthy after recovery funds are spent. He said the Obama administration will work closely with Congress to enact a bill that will focus on making communities more livable and sustainable. The new authorization also must address the need to look beyond the Highway Trust Fund and find new ways to finance surface transportation programs, such as a National Infrastructure Bank, public-private partnerships and tolling on newly built highways.

Vice President Biden, Railroad Administrator, Members of Congress Announce Funding for Amtrak in Recovery Act (03/13/09)

DOT 30-09
Contact: Jill Zuckman, Tel.: (202) 366-4570
Friday, March 13, 2009

Vice President Biden, Railroad Administrator,
Members of Congress Announce Funding for Amtrak in Recovery Act

 Washington, DC – Standing at Washington, DC’s Union Station, one of the most traveled railway stations in the nation, Vice President Joe Biden announced that Amtrak will receive $1.3 billion in grant funding from the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to expand passenger rail capacity.  He was joined by Jo Strang, Acting Federal Railroad Administrator, along with several members of Congress, including: Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA); Senator John Kerry (D-MA); Senator John D. Rockefeller, IV (D-W.Va); Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL); Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ); Senator Ted Kaufman (D-DE);  Congressman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.); Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-FL); Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD); Congressman Rick Larsen (D-WA); Congressman Christopher Carney (D-PA); and Congressman Andre Carson (D-IN).

“Over 28 million passengers ride Amtrak each year. That’s about 500,000 passengers a week – or 80,000 a day,” said Vice President Biden.  “For too long, we haven’t made the investments we needed to make Amtrak as safe, as reliable, as secure as it can be.  That ends now.  The funds in the Recovery Act for Amtrak will help create jobs and at the same time, repair and update critical needs of our nation’s infrastructure.” 

“This is the Obama Administration keeping its promise to America,” said Secretary LaHood.  “We are investing in jobs that will allow Amtrak to add and modernize cars and engines and upgrade its tracks.  We are getting transportation money to Americans quickly in order to get the American economy going again.”

ARRA funding will roughly double the size of Amtrak’s capital investment program over a two-year period.  It will be used to upgrade railroad assets and infrastructure and for capital projects that expand passenger rail capacity.

Among the improvement projects that will be undertaken are replacement of a major drawbridge on the Northeast Corridor (NEC), repairs to Amtrak facilities nationwide, the repair and return to service of nearly 70 stored and damaged passenger cars, and the rehabilitation of major elements of the NEC electrification system.

Repairs to passenger cars will be performed at Amtrak’s facilities in Beech Grove, Indiana, and Bear, Delaware, where Amtrak plans to hire skilled workers laid off from jobs at recently shuttered manufacturing facilities located nearby.

In addition to helping Amtrak achieve a state of good repair for its critical infrastructure and assets, the projects to be funded through the ARRA will result in tangible benefits to Amtrak’s passengers, including increased capacity (with fewer sold-out trains), improved operational reliability, and increased passenger comfort and accessibility at stations.  Refurbished rolling stock that is returned to service may also be available for use on new State-supported routes. 

The Vice President also noted that Amtrak’s hiring for ARRA projects represents a major investment not just in infrastructure, but also in the railroad’s employees.  As a large portion of Amtrak’s skilled workforce nears retirement age, workers hired for ARRA projects will be trained and ready to step in to a long-term role on the railroad.

The economic recovery funds will be managed through a formal grant agreement between the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Amtrak, consistent with ARRA transparency and accountability requirements, including those related to job creation, assisting those areas most impacted by the recession, making investments that increase economic efficiency and provide long-term economic benefits.  The grant agreement will also ensure timely expenditure of the funding within two years and ensure that Amtrak complies with newly established financial, operational, and customer service standards.

Click here for more information on the impact the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will have on passenger railroads.

Examples of Amtrak Projects to be Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

Replacement of the movable bridge over the Niantic River on the Northeast Corridor in Connecticut - $105 million.  In the largest single Amtrak project to be funded through the Recovery Act, Amtrak will replace the 102-year-old drawbridge which carries the Northeast Corridor over the Niantic River near East Lyme, Connecticut.  The replacement of this aging bridge has been planned for over 20 years, but has been repeatedly deferred due to a lack of capital funding for Amtrak.  Any further delay in replacing the bridge would result in the imposition of significant speed restrictions over the bridge (with resulting increases to passenger’s travel times), and potentially a major disruption to passenger rail service between New York and Boston were the bridge’s moving machinery to fail in the open position.  Amtrak estimates that the bridge replacement will result in 860 person-years of work for those directly employed in the bridge construction. 
                                                                                                                  
Rehabilitating and returning to service 68 stored or damaged passenger cars - $82 million.  With $82 million in Recovery Act funding, Amtrak with rehabilitate and return to service 68 passenger cars that are have long been in storage due to damage and lack of funding for necessary repairs.  Once returned to service, many of the cars (which include among them both corridor and long-distance equipment types) will be used to alleviate capacity constraints on heavily-traveled trains, while others may be made available for new State-supported Amtrak services. The cars will be repaired at Amtrak’s maintenance of equipment facilities in Beech Grove, Indiana and Bear, Delaware, both located near recently closed manufacturing facilities in areas that have been hard hit by the economic downturn.  Amtrak anticipates hiring 125 workers to work on this project.

Rehabilitation of the Lamokin frequency converters in Chester, Pennsylvania - $63 million.  Using $63 million in Recovery Act funding, Amtrak will entirely rebuild three rotary frequency converters, which form a key element of the power supply system for the Northeast Corridor, located in Chester, Pennsylvania.  Known as the “Lamokin Converters,” they were placed in service in the 1920's as part of the Pennsylvania Railroad's electrification of its mainline between Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware (on what has since become Amtrak's Northeast Corridor (NEC)).  Since that time, the three 16 megawatt motor-generator sets located at the site have been in continuous use to convert commercial electric power, which operates at 60 Hertz alternating current, to the 25 Hertz alternating current that powers Amtrak and commuter trains along the NEC south of New York City. 

After over 80 years of continuous use, the Lamokin frequency converters are in dire need of major rehabilitation to ensure their future reliability.  As demonstrated by the power outages that crippled Amtrak and commuter rail service in the Northeast on several occasions in 2006 (the causes of which were traced to frequency converting equipment), the reliable supply of electric power is essential to the NEC remaining one of the county's most energy-efficient examples of transportation infrastructure.  Through this project, the three rotary converters will be entirely rebuilt with rewound motor coils, new stator coils, and new collector rings, allowing them to continue to serve passengers on the NEC for generations to come.  Amtrak estimates that the project will result in 504 person-years of work for those directly employed in the rehabilitation of the frequency converters.

Repairs to Amtrak facilities nationwide - $105 million.  In the most wide-reaching of Amtrak’s Recovery Act-funded projects, dozens of aging Amtrak facilities throughout the country will be the target of significant repairs, such as roof replacements, plumbing repairs, heating and air conditioning improvements.  Throughout the recent history of inadequate capital funding for Amtrak, these projects, which include work on stations, maintenance facilities, crew facilities, and warehouses, have been repeatedly deferred due to more pressing investment requirements.  The additional capital funding provided through the Recovery Act will allow these projects (plans for many of which have been sitting on the shelf for years) to move forward quickly.  Amtrak anticipates using local contractors throughout the country to perform this work, resulting in an estimated 860 person-years of work.

Restoration of the Wilmington, Delaware station - $21 million. With $21 million in Recovery Act funding, plus additional funding from the State of Delaware and other sources, Amtrak will make restorations to Wilmington, Delaware’s historic century-old Victorian train station.  The project will incorporate the rebuilding and restoration of the interior of the station buildings, improvements to make the buildings entirely accessible for those with disabilities, restoration of the building's terracotta façade, and the replacement of the track and supporting infrastructure which runs through the station.  In addition to increasing comfort and convenience for passengers using Amtrak’s eleventh busiest station, the project includes the construction of a third high-level platform, which will significantly increase the capacity of the station.  Amtrak estimates that the project will result in 168 person-years of work for those directly employed in the restoration of the station.
                      
Construction of a new station for the Auto Train in Sanford, Florida - $10.5 million. 
With $10.5 million in Recovery Act funding, Amtrak will construct a new station at the Auto-Train’s southern terminus in Sanford, Florida.  The Auto Train, one of Amtrak’s best performing long-distance services, and one of the nation’s most innovative forms of intermodal passenger transportation, transports passenger together with their private automobiles non-stop from Lorton, Virginia (15 miles south of Washington, DC), to Central Florida.  The new station will replace temporary facilities that have been in place since the destruction of much of the previous station by the 2005 hurricanes, and will provide Auto Train passengers with a more comfortable waiting area and allow for faster, more efficient boarding operations.  Amtrak estimates that the project will result in 84 person-years of work for those directly employed in the construction of the new station.

Installation of Positive Train Control on the Amtrak-owned Michigan Line (Porter, Indiana – Kalamazoo, Michigan) and the south-end of the Northeast Corridor (New York – Washington).  Amtrak will invest $60 million in Recovery Act funding in installing Positive Train Control (PTC) on its Porter, Indiana to Kalamazoo, Michigan line (used by Chicago – Detroit trains) and on the south-end of the Northeast Corridor (between New York and Washington).  PTC is an advanced signaling technology that can prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, train incursions into roadway work zones, and movement over switches improperly lined.  The installation of PTC by 2015 on all routes used by intercity passenger trains is mandated by the recently enacted Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.  The Recovery Act funding will allow for the acceleration of the installation of PTC on lines owned by Amtrak, and will result in an immediate safety benefit, along with potential trip-time reductions where the advanced signaling system will allow for increased speeds.

First Economic Recovery Act Money Released; U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $12 Million for Pennsylvania Airports (03/12/09)

DOT 29-09 Contact:
Jill Zuckman, Tel.: (202) 366-4570
Thursday, March 12, 2009

First Economic Recovery Act Money Released; U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood
Announces $12 Million for Pennsylvania Airports

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today announced that Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County Airports will receive the first funding allocations for airport infrastructure projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

"This is money that will create jobs now - but it's also an investment in the long-term safety of our airports and their economic vitality," said Vice President Biden.

"This is a critical investment in our nation's airport infrastructure that will boost the local economy by providing jobs for Pittsburgh-area residents," said Secretary LaHood.

"The Recovery Act is helping us accelerate funding to key projects and invest in the continued safe and efficient operation of our airports," said Acting FAA Administrator Lynne Osmus.

The FAA will allocate $10 million to Pittsburgh International Airport to repair Runway 14-32, one of four commercial service runways. The project includes grading, paving, marking signs, and lighting upgrades to the runway. Pittsburgh serves 4.8 million passengers per year.

The $2 million allocation for Allegheny County, a general aviation airport, will renovate a taxiway and relocate a ramp. The Allegheny County Airport Authority operates both airports.

About 3,400 airports designated as part of the national airport system are eligible to receive Recovery Act funds. The FAA is moving swiftly to Work with airport sponsors to ensure that eligible projects have completed or nearly completed, design and planning requirements.

Under the Recovery Act, the FAA received $1 billion to allocate to qualified airports on a discretionary basis. That funding will be allocated based on a project priority system that addresses airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts. The Recovery Act also requires that 50 percent of the funds be obligated within 120 days, which is June 17, 2009.

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Signs $900 Million Agreement to Fund Wiehle Avenue Extension of Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project (03/10/09)

DOT 27-09
Contact: Paul Griffo, Tel.: 202-366-4064
Tuesday, March 10, 2009


U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Signs $900 Million Agreement to Fund Wiehle Avenue Extension of Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

WASHINGTON U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today committed $900 million in U.S. Department of Transportation funds through 2016 to the $3.1 billion Wiehle Avenue Extension of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. Participating in the full funding grant agreement ceremony at Transportation headquarters were Secretary LaHood, Governor Tim Kaine, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Chairman H.R. Crawford, members of the Virginia congressional delegation and other MWAA officials.

This project comes at a pivotal point as the Obama Administration begins to make vast improvements to our nation's top transit systems, Secretary LaHood said. It will create construction jobs, encourage economic development opportunities, and help Tysons Corner become a more livable community.

On behalf of the Airports Authority board of directors, I want to thank all of our partners who have worked so hard to make this project happen, Crawford said. This is one of the most important transportation projects to be developed in this region and will finally extend Metrorail along the Dulles Corridor and help relieve traffic congestion in Northern Virginia.
The 11.7-mile heavy rail line will be an extension to the existing Metrorail system just east of the West Falls Church station through Tysons Corner to its terminus at Wiehle Ave. in Reston, Va. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority will operate the line from the Stadium-Armory station in Washington to Wiehle Ave. MWAA plans to design and construct a second phase, which will extend the line beyond Dulles Airport into Loudoun County.

When complete, this project will consist of five new stations, improvements to an existing rail yard, 64 new rail cars, and 2,300 parking spaces at the Wiehle Ave. station. The Metrorail project would expand capacity to and from Reston and the Tysons Corner regional activity centers, and provide a direct rail link for commuters from northwest Fairfax and Loudoun Counties to employment opportunities in Tysons Corner, the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, and downtown Washington.

The extension is projected to serve 85,700 daily riders by 2030, including an estimated 10,000 new daily transit riders.

Vice President Biden, U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood, Miami Mayor Diaz Announce Availability of $8.4 Billion in Public Transportation Investments; Miami Intermodal Center Cited as Model for Investment (03/05/09)

DOT 26-09
Contact:  Jill Zuckman, Tel.:  (202) 366-4570
Thursday, March 5, 2009

Vice President Biden, U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood, Miami Mayor Diaz Announce Availability of $8.4 Billion in Public Transportation Investments

Miami Intermodal Center Cited as Model for Investment

Miami, Fla.  Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz today announced the availability of $8.4 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to states and local transportation authorities to repair and build America's public transportation infrastructure. The announcement took place at the future site of the Miami Intermodal Center, which is slated to serve as a 21st century hub for all types of mass transit. 

What's happening here in Miami, we have happening all over America. Resources are being put to work not only creating jobs now but also investing in the future. A future that strengthens our transit system, makes us more energy efficient and increases safety, said Vice President Joe Biden. With this recovery package, we will be creating jobs, saving jobs, and putting money in people's pockets. And with these resources, we'll not only be rebuilding roads and bridges and schools, we'll be building new transit centers like this one. And that means we'll be rebuilding America.

Investments in public transportation put people to work, but they also get people to work in a way that moves us towards our long term goals of energy security and a better quality of life, said Secretary LaHood. That is why transit funding was included in the ARRA and why we think it is a key part of America's transportation future.

 The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) currently plans to use $2.1 million in ARRA transit funds to relocate an aging Miami Greyhound Terminal from its existing isolated location to become an integral part of the $1.7 billion intermodal center, where it will make connections between all modes of transportation, including transit buses, commuter rail, intercity rail, and airport shuttles.  

The U.S. Department of Transportation has already committed $540 million in federally financed loans, about one-third of the total cost, for the intermodal center, which is proceeding on time and on budget. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation will monitor state compliance and track job creation. The projects will be web-posted for the public to see with information on projects accessible at www.recovery.gov.

President Obama Marks Historic Transportation Investment; Vice President Biden, Secretary LaHood Join in Ceremony at DOT (03/03/09)

DOT 25-09
Contact: Jill Zuckman,  Tel.: (202) 366-4570
Tuesday, March 3, 2009

President Obama Marks Historic Transportation Investment
Vice President Biden, Secretary LaHood Join in Ceremony at DOT

Washington, D.C. President Barack Obama, joined by Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, today marked the release of $26.6 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to states and local transportation authorities to repair and build highways, roads and bridges. The release of the funds came eight days earlier than required by law and took place before more than 500 headquarter employees at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

This investment in highways will create or save 150,000 jobs by the end of next year, most of them in the private sector, President Obama said. The jobs that we're creating are good jobs that pay more than average; jobs grinding asphalt and paving roads, filling potholes, making street signs, repairing stop lights, replacing guard rails, he added.

I've always believed that the toughest moments present the biggest opportunities, and clearly, the President of the United States feels that way, as well, Vice President Biden said. With this recovery package, we'll be creating jobs, saving jobs, and putting money in people's pockets.

President Obama is keeping his promise to the American people and he is doing it ahead-of schedule, said Secretary LaHood. This is a long-overdue investment in our transportation infrastructure and in jobs for Americans.

Secretary LaHood noted that some of the money would be used the same day at a site in Montgomery County, Md., where crews had just started road repairs on a one-mile stretch of Route 650.

State highway departments have already identified more than 100 other transportation projects across the country, totaling more than$750 million, where construction can start within the month. That number is expected to grow substantially as more states submit certifications and begin to receive project approvals.

Each proposed project must be approved by the department's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Each state's governor must certify that their proposed projects meet certain conditions and that the state will use ARRA funds in addition to, and not to replace, state funding of transportation projects. The U.S. Department of Transportation will monitor state compliance and track job creation. The projects will be web-posted for the public to see with information on projects accessible at www.recovery.gov.

At the ceremony the President unveiled new logos for government-wide projects completed under the ARRA and the Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) logo for transportation projects completed under the ARRA.

Those attending the signing ceremony at the Department of Transportation were members of the team Secretary LaHood created to oversee disbursement of the money and ensure that all transparency and accountability requirements are being met. Known as the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) team, it is composed of officials from across the Department's operating administrations and offices and is co-chaired by Lana Hurdle, deputy assistant secretary for budget and programs, and Joel Szabat, deputy assistant secretary for transportation policy.

President Obama's visit marks the first by a sitting U.S. President with his Vice President to Department of Transportation headquarters. President Obama is the third sitting President to visit the department, following Presidents George W. Bush in 2008, and Ronald Reagan in 1981.

Statement of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood On President Obama’s Signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (02/17/09)

DOT 20-09
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Contact: Bill Adams
Tel.: (202) 366-4570

Statement of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood On President Obama's Signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Today President Obama kept faith with the American people. Less than one month after taking the oath of office, he signed the landmark American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

I thank and congratulate President Barack Obama for this impressive and hard-won victory.

This is the day America starts back. Resources to help America are now available. At the Department of Transportation we will make sure the transportation money in this law gets Americans to work quickly.

Transportation is a great enabler of economic growth, the lifeblood of commerce. It moves people to jobs and goods to the marketplace. Without strong transportation arteries, economies stagnate.

We will use the transportation funding in the Act to deliver jobs and restore our nation's economy. We will emphasize sustainable investment and focus our policies on the people, businesses and communities who use the transportation systems. And, we will focus on the quality of our environment. We will build and restore our transportation foundations until the American dream is returned.

We will invest in jobs to expand transit capacity and modernize transit systems. Transit is a centerpiece of my focus on livable communities and our Department will work closely with Vice President Biden's "Middle-class Taskforce" on transit initiatives.

We will invest in jobs to allow Amtrak to add and modernize cars and engines and upgrade its tracks.

We will invest in jobs to expand airport capacity and make safety improvements.

We will invest in jobs to build and rehabilitate and make safer roads, highways, bridges and ports.

And we will invest in jobs to launch high-speed rail in America. This will transform intercity transportation in America, reduce our carbon footprint, relieve congestion on the roads and in the skies, and take advantage of a mode of transportation that has already benefited Europe and Japan for many years.

There are those who argue that we need to waive environmental regulations to put people to work more quickly, but that is simply not the case. We have a backlog of worthwhile transportation projects waiting for funding that have already met those standards. We are ready to build a new transportation infrastructure and we will work to keep it green.

I have met with state officials and other transportation stakeholders, and we have discussed how the money can be spent quickly to create jobs on projects that make long-term sense for our transportation systems in communities across the nation. We also reviewed the need for transparency and full accountability on this spending. We will do things by the book.

We at the Department of Transportation are ready to go.

I look forward to hearing the sounds of shovels and hammers and bulldozers and, in some cases, of moving that first shovelful of dirt myself.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Meets with State Transportation Leaders to Discuss Economic Recovery Spending (02/11/09)

DOT 17-09
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Contact: Bill Adams
Tel.: (202) 366-4570

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Meets with State Transportation Leaders to Discuss Economic Recovery Spending

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today met with leaders of state departments of transportation from across the country in preparation for final passage of the economic recovery bill.

The upshot of these meetings is that we have thousands of worthwhile transportation projects that are ready to go. They've cleared all the hurdles and just need the funding, said Secretary LaHood. The U.S. Department of Transportation is ready to get the money out the door. We now need the Congress to pass a final bill.

The meeting, which took place in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, came one day after the U.S. Senate approved the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The House passed its version on January 28. Both bills now go to a House-Senate conference committee where the differences in the legislation will be resolved.

North Carolina Secretary of Transportation Eugene Conti, one of more than 40 state transportation heads at the meeting, said, NCDOT, along with other transportation departments across the nation, has been working to identify projects that would both improve our transportation system and create needed jobs. This funding is key to helping us address the growing economic and infrastructure challenges we are currently facing.

Secretary LaHood said the bills passed provide approximately $46 billion for transportation infrastructure, including up to $30 billion for highways, $12 billion for transit, $3.1 billion for passenger rail and $3 billion for airports. In addition, the Senate bill also includes $5.5 billion for a supplemental discretionary grant program. Eligible projects include highways and bridges, public transit, passenger and freight rail transportation and port infrastructure.

Secretary LaHood told participants that accountability would be one of his highest priorities and that his Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) team would be closely monitoring all aspects of the recovery funding.

The Secretary's TIGER team is composed of officials from across the Department's operating administrations and offices. The team is co-chaired by Lana Hurdle, deputy assistant secretary for budget and programs, and Joel Szabat, deputy assistant secretary for transportation policy.

 

Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2013