Thursday, May 9, 2013
Contact: Nancy Singer
FHWA Administrator Mendez Helps Break Ground on Enon Ridge Multimodal Corridor and Civil Rights Complete Streets Project in Birmingham
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez today joined Mayor William Bell to kick-off of construction on the Enon Ridge Multimodal Corridor and Civil Rights Complete Streets project, part of a citywide bicycle and pedestrian network that will link neighborhoods in the greater Birmingham area.
"This project will put people to work, help them get to work and make Birmingham a better place to live," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "It is a great example of how investing in our infrastructure can make a city, a region and the nation a magnet for jobs."
The project is included in the city's overall Roads to Recovery initiative, which received $10 million in federal funding for seven projects that support multimodal transportation through the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program in 2012.
Roads to Recovery uses the "complete streets" approach to project planning in which streets are designed to accommodate all users - motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and people of all ages and abilities to allow them to move safely around the community. Created to assist in Birmingham's recovery from the devastating April 2011 tornado, Roads to Recovery will create a 33.6 mile regional transportation network with additional and improved bicycle trails and sidewalks to better connect 250,000 residents to public transit, employment centers, retail districts, hospitals and other facilities.
"This project is truly about rebuilding and improving quality of life," Administrator Mendez said. "Everyone in the community wins when more transportation options are available."
The Enon Ridge and Civil Rights segment starting today consists of nearly 4.5 miles of complete streets that will connect residents to some of the area's largest employers in downtown, including the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Federal District. It also includes trails as part of the Civil Rights trail route which will link important civil rights movement destinations in anticipation of tens of thousands of visitors to the city this year for the movement's 50th anniversary.
The TIGER program promotes innovative, multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional transportation projects that provide significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, region or the nation. Through four rounds the TIGER program has already funded 218 projects worth a total of more than $3 billion. The Department currently is accepting applications until June 3, 2013 for a fifth round of funding. More information on the TIGER Discretionary Grant program and a list of past projects awarded funding can be found at http://www.dot.gov/tiger/.
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