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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 $6.7 Million in Grants for Texas Highway Projects

Funds will help create jobs by expanding highway enhancements and developing a major trade corridor

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced more than $6.7 million in grants for Texas to fund an array of highway-related efforts, including the development of the San Antonio Trade Corridor and the introduction of peak-period pricing on the 183A Turnpike in Austin.

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

Texas received funding for the following projects.

Helping develop the San Antonio Trade Corridor to extend 36th Street SW as a major arterial from US 90 to I-35 and create a continuous north-south corridor connecting growing residential suburbs with major employment and industrial centers $1,742,609
Introducing peak-pricing on the 183A Turnpike in Austin and studying the influence on driving patterns, including dynamic ridesharing and HOV $1,220,424
Constructing a pedestrian bridge at Bringhurst Street in Houston to separate pedestrian and railroad traffic from Amtrak’s Sunset Limited $1,100,000
Providing bulkhead repairs to improve service and accommodate five million passengers annually at the Harbor Island Ferry in Nueces County $790,000
Installing lead pilings to support new and longer vehicular ferry boats in Nueces County $730,000
Studying travel behavior on I-30 to evaluate pricing and  environmental improvements $588,301
Providing opportunities for skills improvement at the Texas Construction Career Academy to increase the participation of women, minorities, and disadvantaged persons in all phases of highway construction $300,000
Implementing and integrating of transit and HOV incentives for Dallas Area Rapid Transit and studying the effects on driver behavior $160,000
Providing technical assistance and business opportunity programs to provide support to disadvantaged business enterprises $60,000
Providing additional parking, signage and traffic calming projects on Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Native American Tribe $42,481
TOTAL $6,733,815

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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