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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: Kelly Hanahan
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $2.5 Million in Grants for West Virginia Highway Projects

Funds will help create jobs by making needed multimodal improvements and adding needed truck parking space

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced more than $2.5 million in grants for West Virginia to fund an array of highway-related efforts ranging from adding truck parking spaces to providing construction industry skills to transportation workers.

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

West Virginia received funding for the following projects:

Completing phase 1 of the Slack Plaza Multimodal improvements $652,200
Adding 28 truck parking spaces on I-81 in Berkley $500,000
Providing construction industry skills training tools, equipment and services at Kanawha Valley Community College $350,200
Replacing the Dry Branch Bridge Over Campbells Creek in Kanawha County $300,000
Establishing a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Small Business Academy and providing training and technical assistance to DBE firms statewide $283,605
Updating the Midland Trail corridor management plan $211,034
Preservation of Philippi Covered Bridge $95,000
Ferry terminal and vessel improvements in Sistersville $85,600
Providing turnouts at the Stauton-Parkersburg Turnpike $80,000
Completing phase I of the Coal Heritage Interpretive Plan $49,600
Installing signs for the Lower Greenbrier River Byway $12,080
TOTAL $2,574,319

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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