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Federal Highway Deputy Administrator Rick Capka
Remarks as prepared for delivery
North-South Road Groundbreaking Ceremony
February 9, 2005, Kapolei, Hawaii

On behalf of President Bush, Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, and Federal Highway Administrator Mary Peters . . . I am proud to be part of today's North-South Road groundbreaking. The Bush Administration knows that transportation is one of the best investments we can make to expand opportunity and prosperity to more and more Americans.

At FHWA, we have three key priorities, and all of them are represented in this project. We want to save lives and reduce injuries on our highways. We want to protect and preserve the environment while completing vital projects. And we want to reduce congestion and improve mobility to support our economy and improve quality of life.

Regarding safety, there is no question that a new six-lane divided highway will be a safe road.

The project has passed extensive environmental review and has strong community support.

And clearly, this project will relieve congestion in the fastest-growing part of Oahu.

An Ewa Beach resident quoted on the Advertiser last fall said it well: "The congestion is ridiculous. Every day the traffic gets worse and worse and I have to leave earlier and earlier." Congestion and delay are not just inconvenient and aggravating. They are a burden on every business, every community, and every individual.

Well I'm proud to say to weary travelers, to island visitors, to everyone, help is on the way.

This is one of Hawaii DOT's key efforts to relieve congestion. Our FHWA Hawaii Division office -- led by Division Administrator Abe Wong -- provided technical expertise and resources. The Bush Administration knows transportation keeps the economy moving.

But it takes more than government cooperation. The ability to advance this critical infrastructure project requires strong partnerships -- and hard work -- from business and private citizens.

All of us are working together to provide this real world solution in a cost-effective manner. Talked about for nearly twenty years, the North-South Road has reached the starting line.

On behalf of President Bush and all of Federal Highways, congratulations.

It's time to celebrate and give thanks.


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