Thursday, September 30, 2010
Contact: Cathy St. Denis
100 Percent of Recovery Act Highway Dollars Awarded Funding Projects Across the Country
FHWA Meets Sept. 30 Deadline
WASHINGTON - The Federal Highway Administration has met the September 30th deadline for providing nearly $27.5 billion of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars for highway and bridge projects throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the territories, U.S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today.
"The Recovery Act was intended to create jobs and strengthen our infrastructure, and it is making a difference in communities across the country," said Secretary LaHood. "There is still work left to do, but these funds have helped put people to work and stimulated the economy by investing in America's roads and bridges."
Once the money has been provided, contracts can be put out for bid, workers can be hired, equipment and supplies can be purchased, and work can begin on highway construction and repair projects that drive economic growth by creating jobs. Because the highway funding program is reimbursement-based, states will continue to submit invoices to the FHWA as bills are submitted by contractors.
"The thousands of projects funded - and the tens of thousands of jobs created - are testament to the success of the Recovery Act," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "The billions made available for road improvements over the last 18 months have been critical to keeping people safe and making our transportation system more efficient and effective."
Since the Recovery Act became law in February 2009, more than 40,000 miles of pavement across the United States have been improved. Of the more than 13,000 Recovery Act-funded road projects across the country, more than 7,300 are underway and more than 4,200 are completed.
Notable projects funded by the Recovery Act include:
Caldecott Tunnel, near Oakland. The $610 million project, which relies on $197.5 million from the Recovery Act, will make room for two additional lanes on the heavily traveled SR 24 by boring a tunnel through the Berkeley Hills west of Oakland. The route's existing three tunnels, which give drivers a total of six lanes, are inadequate for the heavy volume of Bay Area traffic - an estimated 160,000 drivers daily. When completed in 2013, the new 3,389-foot-long tunnel will have 12-foot lanes, shoulders and emergency walkways. The tunnel will be built to withstand an earthquake - as are the existing tunnels - and will include numerous safety features, including seven emergency escape passages to the adjacent tunnel.
Route 52 Causeway, near Cape May. $70 million of Recovery Act dollars are making improvements to this Causeway that has been taking visitors and residents over the Intercoastal Waterway to Ocean City. By making long-overdue improvements to this highly-trafficked route, the money is helping bring increased tourism and jobs to an economically distressed area of New Jersey.
I-695 Bridge over Liberty Road, near Baltimore. This $22 million bridge replacement project, which relies on $21.9 million from the Recovery Act, is one of Maryland's top priorities. Built in 1961, and widened twice since then, the eight-lane, I-695 bridge carries an estimated 210,600 vehicles each day over Liberty Road below. The new bridge will be 38-feet wider to accommodate additional future lane widening anticipated for the I-695 Beltway. When completed in 2012, the new bridge will accommodate the 282,300 daily drivers estimated to use the route by 2030 - a 34 percent increase over current traffic.
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