Remarks as prepared for delivery
Rick Capka, FHWA Administrator
T-REX Opening Ceremony, Denver, Colorado
Thursday, November 16, 2006
On behalf of President Bush and Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, I want to congratulate all of you for your leadership in reaching this day -- on budget and way ahead of schedule.
What is unique about this project is that you had two owners -- Colorado DOT (CDOT) and the Regional Transportation District (RTD) -- but only one contractor. CDOT and RTD created the T-REX Team to manage the project.
On the Federal side, there was similar teamwork between Federal Highways and Federal Transit. The two agencies developed a joint Environmental Impact Statement and approved a joint Project Finance Plan. The result: a remarkable project for the people of Colorado that combines pedestrian, bike, light rail, and highway.
T-REX represents a nationally significant example of innovative financing and contracting to improve the flow of people and freight. Colorado is well ahead of the curve when it comes to innovative approaches for congestion relief.
Completed mega projects, like this one, are very important parts of a new Bush Administration plan to relieve traffic congestion. Our Congestion Relief Initiative provides federal, state, and local officials with a clear plan to expand capacity on our existing roads, highways, and ports, and encourages new approaches to fund and manage our transportation systems of the future.
Today, congestion is choking our mobility. Whether it takes the form of trucks stalled in traffic, cargo sitting on the dock at overwhelmed seaports, or airplanes circling over crowded airports, congestion is costing America an estimated $200 billion a year.
Even worse, congestion takes a major bite out of our day -- time that could be spent with families and friends.
Our economic competitiveness as a nation depends on our continuing ability to move products and people efficiently across the country, through our ports, and around the world. Our economy has come to depend on just-in-time delivery. Congestion can make a delivery just-too-late.
We need excellent transportation to be globally competitive.
The Bush Administration is committed to keeping the economy strong and growing. The Colorado Department of Transportation, the Denver Regional Transportation District, the Federal Transit Administration, Federal Highways, and numerous counties, cities and jurisdictions . . .
All working together, thinking smarter . . . to build a better transportation network . . . and relieve as much congestion as possible.
Now that's a Congestion Initiative!
Congratulations, again to all who worked so hard to achieve today's success and a special congratulations to those whose cooperative spirit proved transit and highway agencies can work together as partners.
Together, we will keep America moving!