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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 $721,000 in Grants for Nebraska Highway Projects

Funds will help create jobs by paving final segment of Richardson County road and expanding biking and pedestrian options in Omaha/Council Bluffs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced more than $721,000 in grants to fund Nebraska’s final phase of a road improvement project between Preston and the Kansas state line and create a plan to make Omaha and neighboring Council Bluffs, Iowa, more bike- and pedestrian-friendly.

"Transportation investments like these will create jobs and improve the quality of life for Nebraska residents 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 funding 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.

Nebraska received funding for the following projects:

Complete final segment of paving of access road between Preston and Kansas state line $535,000
Development of plan for network of bike- and pedestrian-friendly streets throughout Omaha and nearby Council Bluffs, Iowa $130,440
Development of a signage and interpretive plan showcasing the Sandhills Journal Scenic Byway in Broken Bow $56,000
TOTAL $721,440

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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