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Remarks by Gregory Nadeau, Administrator, FHWA

TIGER Truck Parking Announcement

Wichita, Kansas

Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 3 PM

Hello everyone!

It’s a great pleasure to be here today to congratulate the Kansas DOT and its seven state partners for receiving this TIGER grant.

This $25 million grant goes right to the heart of the human element in trucking – the safety and well-being of the men and women who move goods across this country, as well as the people who share the road with them.

Thanks to this grant, the 8 regional partners will be able to use the latest technology to get accurate and timely information to truckers about safe places to pull off the road, rest and even sleep overnight.

Giving drivers a safe place to park is a personal priority of mine, and one of growing importance in the transportation community.

Like many things, it took a tragedy to really focus attention on this issue.

In 2009, a truck driver named Jason Rivenburg was murdered as he slept in his truck overnight at an abandoned gas station in South Carolina.

Since Jason’s death, his widow -- Hope Rivenburg -- has been dedicated to making sure truck drivers have a safe place to park and rest.

Thanks to her efforts, our current transportation bill, MAP-21, required us to do a survey on truck parking availability.

We’ve completed that survey, and put together a national coalition of federal, state and industry members to address the shortage of truck parking information and capacity.

It’s an issue that we must address, especially when you consider that our Beyond Traffic study projects that this nation will need to move 45 percent more freight by the year 2045.

Thanks to this TIGER grant, the work being done by these regional partners will be an example for the rest of the nation.

Most of all, we need to remember that truck drivers do more than keep our economy moving.
They also support their families in this very demanding profession – families who wait for them to return home safely after every trip.

This TIGER grant is going to help more of these professionals make it home!

Safety is the Number One priority of everyone in transportation. And our nation’s transportation secretary, Anthony Foxx, made safety one of the key standards for selecting the TIGER recipients.

And, yes, there was a rigorous selection process involved.

This is one of 39 grants we’re making in this current round of TIGER – the 7th since 2009.

But we chose those 39 from 627 applications requesting more than $ 10 billion – 20 TIMES the $500 million Congress made available.

That’s been the pattern in every round – overwhelming demand for the available dollars.

There’s an important lesson in those numbers.

It shows the incredible demand for transportation improvements all across the country – improvements that will keep us safer, put innovation to work and connect people to opportunities, like a job, school and other services.

Earlier this year, we sent a proposal to Congress called the GROW AMERICA Act. It was our proposal for investing in America’s infrastructure for the next 6 years.

It would keep TIGER roaring along with $7.5 billion over those six years – a major increase over current levels – so we could say “yes” a little bit more and “no” a little bit less.

We look forward to working with Congress to create a long-term plan that invests in the infrastructure our country needs today – and what it will need in the future.

But today, we celebrate the outstanding presentation made by this regional partnership to help protect the safety of truck drivers and the people who share the road with them.

Well done! Congratulations!

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