Monday, November 25, 2013
Contact: Neil Gaffney
FHWA Celebrates Groundbreaking for Houston Bike/Pedestrian Trails
HOUSTON – The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez today participated in the groundbreaking for the Houston Regional Bike/Pedestrian Connections to Transit project. The $29 million project, which includes funding from a $15 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) IV grant and $800,000 in other federal funds, will improve mobility and provide visitors to the downtown area with safer shared-use paths, sidewalks and walkways. Administrator Mendez was joined by Congressman Gene Green, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Houston Mayor Annise Parker and other state and local officials at the event.
“The Obama Administration is committed to projects like Connections to Transit that create opportunity by connecting people to school, jobs and their homes,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This investment will mean improved transportation choices and a better quality of life for University of Houston students, Houston residents and others who live or commute downtown.”
The project includes 11 miles of sidewalks, 10 miles of on-street bikeways, seven miles of paths and six miles of pedestrian enhancements that will better connect people to employment centers and bus and rail transportation by eliminating major gaps on primary off-street bicycle/pedestrian transportation routes. The city will also install new directional signs and improve pedestrian amenities by providing benches, bike racks, waste receptacles, lighting and landscaping. The project also involves construction of an electric shuttle path between two campuses of the University of Houston. The city expects to complete the project by January 2015.
“New construction today on the Connections to Transit project means economic opportunities in the future,” said Administrator Mendez. “The Federal Highway Administration is pleased to be a part of this pivotal project.”
The highly competitive TIGER grant program offers one of the only federal funding possibilities for multi-modal projects that often are not suitable for other federal funding sources. TIGER has enjoyed overwhelming demand since its creation. In total, the Department of Transportation has provided more than $3.6 billion in TIGER funds to 270 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. By contrast, the Department received more than 5,200 applications requesting more than $114.2 billion for transportation projects across the country.
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