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reauthorization

More jobs, better rail just two benefits of GROW AMERICA

Earlier today, I had the pleasure of joining Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn and several other dignitaries at a ribbon cutting ceremony for Shop #3 at the Nippon Sharyo plant in Rochelle, IL. As the name indicates, this is the third expansion at this plant since 2012. Very soon, workers will start building 130 new, next-generation rail cars for California and the Midwest that are funded through our High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail program.

Not that long ago, Shop #3, as well as Shops #1 and #2, were empty fields.  Now, because of the Obama Administration’s investments in passenger rail, our Buy America program, and the hard work of so many, I was able to spend the day touring a state-of-the-art U.S. railcar manufacturing plant. What’s more, we’re rejuvenating a manufacturing industry that had gone fallow. New skilled workers are arriving, equipment and material being delivered, high-tech machines whirring and in the near future…shiny new rail cars will be rolling out the door.

It’s exciting for Rochelle, important for Illinois and historic for the Nation...

Photo of participants in ribbon-cutting ceremony at Nippon-Sharyo

Statement of Secretary Foxx on Senate Highway Trust Fund vote of July 29

"I applaud the Senate's strong bipartisan vote, which sends a clear message that we need action on a long-term transportation bill this year, and reaffirms that Democrats and Republicans can come together to do it. There is no reason to delay the real debate about long-term funding and badly needed policy updates until we reach another crisis point, which could be May 2015 and at the beginning of the next construction season."

DOT 73-14

Creating jobs today by investing in high-performance rail

Recently I posted on this blog about my visit to a Siemens plant in Louisville, Kentucky, where investments in rail have created new jobs.

Well, to quote Yogi Berra, my visit on July 8 to Columbus Castings in Ohio was like “déjà vu all over again.” Once again, I saw proof that improvements in our rail system create new orders for manufacturers and suppliers, and new jobs for American workers.

During my tour, I saw skilled employees making components for one order that is modernizing Amtrak’s long-distance services.  Columbus Castings added more than 30 new jobs for just this one order.

Photo of a worker at Columbus Castings

DOT updates Highway Trust Fund tickers as shortfall looms

Today, as we've been doing each month since January, the Department of Transportation updated our Highway Trust Fund tickers. The tickers are charts showing how much money we have left to spend on roads, bridges, and transit --and how quickly it is running out.

If you've been reading the Fast Lane this spring, you know that our budget analysts have projected a shortfall in the Highway Account before we reach the end of this fiscal year. So far, all of their monthly predictions have been on target, and this month was no different. Unfortunately, that accuracy is not good news, because it means we're still expecting a shortfall as early as August.

In a challenging legislative environment, that doesn't give us a lot of time...

Chart depicting end-of-month balances for the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund

It's time to GROW AMERICA

Today, I’m sending a legislative proposal to Congress that is designed to bring transportation ideas to the table.

Already, we’ve seen both parties make significant progress towards a bipartisan agreement on a multi-year bill that extends opportunity for workers and businesses alike. We believe our bill will help continue that progress.

The GROW AMERICA bill is based on the proposal the President announced in February. It ensures the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund and also advances a number of common-sense bipartisan reforms...

Photo collage of various modes of transportation

Off the bus, but pressing on

It sure feels good to be home again after last week's "Invest In America, Commit to the Future" bus tour. But what we saw on our trip--and what we've heard from people around the country and state DOTs--has only motivated us to work harder to help bring this nation the transportation certainty Americans need.

The job of getting a multi-year transportation bill--one that funds the safe and dependable infrastructure our economic growth requires--continues, and we can't afford to rest until we've reached the finish line...

Meeting workers near the Ohio River Bridges in Kentucky

"Invest in America, Commit to the Future" bus tour

This morning, I announced that I will spend the next week traveling across the country with a simple message: Americans across the country need new and better transportation options to help them get to school, get to work or start a business; the President has proposed a way to do all this without adding to the deficit...if we can get Congress to say "yes” to investing in America by committing to a multi-year transportation bill.

Transportation connects Americans to opportunity. From the canals built just after our independence to the transcontinental railroad to the interstate highway system, better transportation has always led this nation to greater prosperity...

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