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Remarks by Gregory Nadeau, Deputy Administrator, FHWA

Boulder City Bypass Groundbreaking

Boulder City, Nevada

Monday, April 6, 2015

It’s a great pleasure to join everyone here this morning.

The Federal Highway Administration is pleased to support this outstanding project with up to $291 million.

It’s going to help achieve many goals that all of us hold dear – enhanced safety, less congestion and more efficient movement of freight.

And, of course, it brings us one step closer to a future Interstate link between Las Vegas and Phoenix.

But you get an even better sense of how important this project is when you put it in a larger context.

Earlier this year, our Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, released a report called Beyond Traffic.

It’s a look 30 years down the road at the factors and forces that will shape transportation in 2045.

The findings should inspire us to not only build this project, but to pass a long-term funding bill so we can invest in critical projects all across the country.

For example, the report projects that in 2045, there will be 70 million more people living in the United States.

That’s the same as adding the current populations of California, Texas and Florida COMBINED. I can assure you they won’t all be teleworking!

A lot of our population will be living in mega-regions, many of them in the South and Southwest, including the area around Las Vegas.

Then, take a look at freight – the lifeblood of our economy.

In 2045, we’ll need to move 45 percent more freight than we do today. It won’t all be delivered by drones!

In fact, for every ten trucks on the road today, they’ll be joined by four more.

So you see, we’re going to be facing a tsunami of people and freight that we need to start preparing for NOW.

And so, this groundbreaking isn’t just a celebration of one important project. It’s celebrating one important step toward meeting the demands we’re going to face in the future.

As part of that effort, we sent the GROW AMERICA Act to Congress one week ago.

It’s a six-year, $478 billion plan that would give states the money and the certainty they need to build projects that will create jobs today and help meet the future needs of our people and our economy.

We look forward to sitting down with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to discuss this – or any – ideas for investing in our roads and bridges.

So let’s hope the Boulder City Bypass is one of many groundbreakings we celebrate in the years to come.

And let’s remember to always make safety our Number One priority by buckling our seat belt, putting away our cell phone when we’re driving, and simply driving safely.

Thank you very much!

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Page posted on May 19, 2015.
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