Friday, March 1, 2013
Contact: Doug Hecox
Federal Highway Administrator Mendez Helps Dedicate Western Extension of the President George Bush Turnpike
Project reduces congestion, improves Dallas economy
DALLAS – The Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez today participated in the dedication of the Western Extension of the President George Bush Turnpike in Grand Prairie. The last phase of the $1.1 billion project is now complete and open to traffic, completing a loop around Dallas, a critical link in the region's transportation network. Administrator Mendez joined Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and state and local officials at the dedication.
"The completed President George Bush Turnpike will reduce congestion, benefitting area companies and commuters alike," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "President Obama said in his State of the Union address that we should both 'Fix it First' and make sure our infrastructure attracts and supports businesses and families that rely on them – exactly like what's happening in Dallas today."
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the project a $20 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to support the $418 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for the last phase of work.
"This vital piece of the transportation network in the Dallas-Ft. Worth region is open and getting people where they need to go," Administrator Mendez said. "Cutting congestion in North Texas will attract more commerce and jobs to the area."
The Western Extension, State Highway (SH) 161, will provide a new, approximately 11.5-mile link between SH 183, I-30, and I-20 as part of a western loop around Dallas through the cities of Irving and Grand Prairie south of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. SH161 will serve as a major link within the Dallas-Fort Worth regional transportation network, reducing congestion along adjacent corridors and improving the travel experience in surrounding communities. Overall, the project will ensure smoother and more efficient traffic flow of workers and goods by creating a parallel route to the currently congested SH 360.
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