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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 25-09Contact: Cathy St. Denis
Thursday, September 3, 2009Phone: 202-366-0660

Nation's Top Highway Official to Attend Groundbreaking in Minneapolis to Mark the Second 100 Days of the Recovery Act
TH 610 Extension Project is Largest to Date in Minnesota

WASHINGTON, DC - Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez today joined state, local, and other federal officials to break ground on Minnesota's largest American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) project, commemorating the second 100 days of the Recovery Act.

The state will use $27 million in Recovery Act funds to jump-start the extension of Trunk Highway 610 in suburban Minneapolis, a critical transportation link in the region.

"The President's Recovery plan is exceeding expectations, putting people back to work and upgrading our nation's highways," Mendez said. "Since its passage in February, the Recovery Act has sustained or created tens of thousands of highway jobs and improved more than 3,500 miles of highway, neither of which would have been possible without this funding."

Mendez added that more than 3,400 projects are under way or have been completed all over the nation. Recovery Act funds are making a real difference for families and communities throughout the United States, and Minnesota is no exception - the State estimates that 200 jobs will be created by the TH 610 extension project alone.

Recovery dollars will pay for more than half of the total cost of the TH 610 project, estimated at $48 million, for three miles of a brand new four-lane roadway in Maple Grove from Highway 169 to County Road 81, two interchanges, three overpasses, a pedestrian bridge and noise walls.

"The project we are celebrating today wouldn't even be possible until 2014 without the infusion of Recovery Act funds," Mendez added. "Instead, it is underway and scheduled to be completed in 2011 -- three years before construction was planned to start."

Of the $26.6 billion in Recovery Act funds available for highway projects nationwide, $18 billion has been obligated for more than 7,000 projects. Minnesota has more than $502.3 million available and to date, already the state has obligated 70 percent of those funds - $353 million - toward 132 projects.

Additional information about ARRA can be found on the Federal Highway Administration's Web site, www.fhwa.dot.gov/economicrecovery or at the White House site, www.Recovery.gov.

FHWA committed to begin 1,500 projects during the second 100 days of the Recovery Act. It exceeded this goal and has begun work on more than 2,200 highway and bridge projects across the country during this time.

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