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

FHWA 37-11
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Contact: Doug Hecox
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $7 Million in Grants for Alaska Highway Projects

Funds will help create jobs by expanding highway repairs and improving visitor services along the Haines Highway

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $7 million in grants to fund an array of highway-related efforts ranging from repairs to rural roads in Manokotak and near Klawock and Hollis, and acquisition of land needed for a scenic wayside for tourists along the Haines Highway.

"Transportation investments like these will create jobs and improve the quality of life for Alaskans as well as strengthen the state's economy," said Secretary LaHood. "The demand from the states for these funds shows just how critical the need is for infrastructure investment."

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states to apply in June for federal funding from 14 grant programs. Requests poured in from every state, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. – more than 1,800 applications, totaling nearly $13 billion, which is more than 30 times the funds available.

"At a time when states are facing serious budgetary constraints, these grants will help fill a critical need," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "Investments like these are immediate and long-lasting, and will help create jobs."

Congress created the discretionary grant programs to give FHWA the latitude to support projects that maintain the nation's roads and bridges, improve roadway safety and make communities more livable. In previous years, Congress designated some of this grant money for specific projects and FHWA awarded the remainder through a competitive process. Because the FY11 budget passed by Congress last April directed that all such funds be discretionary, FHWA awarded these funds through a competitive process.

Alaska received funding for the following projects:

Repairs to Hollis Highway from Klawock to Hollis $1,855,400
Construction of a segment of pedestrian path for Chickaloon Native Village in Sutton $1,718,280
Repairs to main road repair from Manokotak's old village to Manokotak Heights and Airport Access Road $1,572,698
Repairs to public dock ferry terminal in Akutan $880,000
Training seminar to introduce Alaska high school students to possible careers in highway-related construction $75,000
Specialized training in highway contract management and other skills related to competing for work on highway projects $171,878
Acquisition of world-famous "Picture Point" scenic turnout for development of scenic wayside along Haines Highway in Haines $495,840
Development of management plan for 127-mile-long Seward Highway Corridor $260,880
Visitor services along Haines Highway National Scenic Byway $40,000
TOTAL $7,069,976

A complete state-by-state list of this year's grant recipients is available online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pressroom/fhwa1137/.

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