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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: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $3.6 Million in Grants for South Dakota Highway Projects

Funds will help create jobs by restoring damaged highway, replacing bridge

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced more than $3.6 million in grants for South Dakota to fund an array of highway-related efforts including realigning Route 12 between Cherry Creek Community and Highway 63 to Eagle Butte that was washed out by the Cheyenne River.

"Transportation investments like these will create jobs and improve the quality of life for South Dakota 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 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.

South Dakota received funding for the following projects:

Aligning key portions of the washed Route 12 in Eagle Butte $3,047,200
Replacing 8th Street Bridge over French Creek in Custer County with precast deck $295,000
Constructing a roadside viewing platform at Bridal Veil Falls Overlook on the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway $159,610
Training for tribal communities $138,870
Supporting growth and development of underutilized Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms $53,982
TOTAL $3,694,662

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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