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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 36-14 Nashville
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Contact: Neil Gaffney
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Calls for Transportation Investment During Visit to Charlotte Avenue Bridge

Highlights Need for Improved Safety, Capacity as part of Invest in America Bus Tour

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx joined state and local officials at the Charlotte Avenue Bridge today as part of his Invest in America, Commit to the Future bus tour, calling the proposed project an example of critical transportation work that is being left undone because of a lack of investment. The Secretary's visit is part of a multi-state tour highlighting the urgent need to invest in America's transportation infrastructure at a time when the nation's surface transportation programs are set to expire and the Highway Trust Fund is running out of money.

"Nashville can't afford to shut down a bridge because of crumbling infrastructure – but unless Washington begins to invest in transportation again, it won't be able to afford repairing the bridge either," said Secretary Foxx. "I'm traveling across the country all week to highlight critical projects like this that we could address if we invest in America and commit to the future – because just doing more of the same isn't going to help us meet the transportation needs of the future."

If more federal funds were available, work could begin on a proposed project to re-pave and rehabilitate the 1960s-era Charlotte Avenue Bridge, as well as five other bridges that connect Nashville's I-40 Inner Loop. The bridges carry 131,000 vehicles every day, but the city was forced to close the Charlotte Avenue Bridge three times last summer because of structural deterioration.

Once funding is secured, Tennessee transportation officials plan to use two "Every Day Counts" initiatives used by states and supported by Federal Highway Administration that help finish innovative projects sooner, more efficiently and more cost-effectively for the public. According to Tennessee Department of Transportation, using such measures on this project will reduce the construction time requiring road closures from several months to several weekends.

After visiting the project, Secretary Foxx spoke about the Administration's plan to address the infrastructure deficit with a $302 billion, four-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal. The plan will invest in our national infrastructure network, increase safety and efficiency and provide greater access to ladders of opportunity, all without adding to the deficit. Later this month, Secretary Foxx and President Obama will send a bill to Congress that will make this vision a reality and put more Americans back to work repairing and modernizing our roads, bridges, railways, and transit systems.

"Throughout our history, Americans have always been able to leave their children a brighter future, thanks in part to the opportunities transportation has provided," said Secretary Foxx. "We are at risk of failing our children. We need to not only invest in America, but commit to the future – not only rebuild and repair our roads and bridges, but reimagine how we do it."

Secretary Foxx's Invest in America, Commit to the Future bus tour is taking him through eight states in five days. The tour includes visits to manufacturers, bridges, freight facilities and highway projects in an effort to raise awareness of America's infrastructure needs. Secretary Foxx is visiting with business leaders, stakeholders and community members to discuss how transportation projects are making a difference, and to highlight infrastructure gaps that we need to fill in order to promote economic growth and American competitiveness.

To follow the trip's progress, please click here.

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Page posted on April 15, 2014.
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000