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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

Thursday, April 15, 2004
Contact: Brian Keeter, Telephone: (202) 366-0660
FHWA 4-04

U.S. Transportation Secretary Demonstrates Future of Road Building
New Technologies Already Seen in Connecticut I-95 Repairs and New Wilson Bridge

(ALEXANDRIA, VA) - U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta today highlighted new construction technologies he said are producing safer, longer lasting and less expensive roads and bridges that are reducing construction times around the country.

The Secretary demonstrated a range of technologies that have been developed as part of a Department of Transportation program to encourage new ways of designing and building roads. Included in the display were concrete that hardens in hours instead of days, prefabricated pavement that snaps together like children's building blocks, and new higher visibility road signs.

"The future of road building is through technologies that save time, save taxpayer dollars and provide a better, safer driving experience," said Secretary Mineta. "We are working to find ways to promote these technologies in construction projects nationwide."

Secretary Mineta noted that it was innovative technology like the ones on display that were used to quickly reopen sections of I-95 in Connecticut after a fiery March accident literally melted sections of the freeway. According to the Secretary, the new road building technologies have saved money and time on projects ranging from Denver, Colorado, to Yorktown, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The Secretary also toured the local Wilson Bridge project by boat to see some of the new construction technologies being put to use. These include the use of pre-cast concrete boxes to create bridge supports.

The Bush administration's transportation legislation, now under consideration by Congress, would make available up to $17.6 billion this year to encourage even greater use of these new technologies in building and restoring roads and bridges. "President Bush's goal is to see us develop technologies that give us better roads, keep the economy moving and put America on track for a more prosperous future," said Secretary Mineta.

A list of additional technologies is available.


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