U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Visits Tallahassee's Proposed SR 263 Capital Circle Southwest Project
Topics: Anthony Foxx
Federal Highway Administration
17 February 2015
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Contact: Nancy Singer
Calls for Increased National Transportation Investment
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx joined Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum today at the proposed SR 263 Capital Circle Southwest Project and pointed to Tallahassee's efforts to promote economic development. The Secretary made a second stop to meet with students at Florida A&M University. The Secretary's visit is part of a four-day, five state bus tour, The GROW AMERICA Express, highlighting the importance of investing in America's infrastructure and to encourage Congress to act on a long-term transportation bill.
"I kicked off this bus tour with two stops in Tallahassee, one was a great sendoff by the students of FAMU, which begs the question of what kind of country we want to leave future generations," said Secretary Foxx. "Right now, we've got a lot of work to do rebuilding America's infrastructure and young people all across this country deserve more than a patchwork of promises from Congress and a future of short-term fixes. Congress needs to pass a long-term transportation bill like our GROW AMERICA Act to put us on a more competitive path."
The estimated cost to complete the Capital Circle Southwest Project is $120 million – $111 million of which still needs to be found for the project to go to construction. When completed, this 6.7-mile-long project will widen SR 263 from two lanes to six, and add sidewalks and bicycle accommodations. It will upgrade intersections, provide an enhanced highway for cars, buses, and pedestrians, and improve access to Tallahassee Regional Airport and Florida State University.
"The improvements on SR 263 would support the area's economy and support the future expansion of the airport," said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. "It's projects such as these that make it possible for Florida to expand its economy and create jobs."
The Tallahassee Regional Airport is considered a cornerstone of economic development. The Tallahassee market area of more than 1.4 million in total population includes Tallahassee, 11 neighboring Florida counties, and 12 southern Georgia counties. Tallahassee Regional Airport accounts for 32 percent of air passenger travel in the Northwest Florida Region.
On February 2, the Obama Administration announced a plan to address the infrastructure deficit with a $478 billion, six-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal, building on the GROW AMERICA Act, which the Administration first released last year. The plan makes critical investments in infrastructure needed to promote long-term economic growth, enhance safety and efficiency, and support jobs for the 21st century.
The need for these investments is clear. Earlier this month, U.S. DOT released a landmark study, "Beyond Traffic" that looked at the trends and choices facing American transportation over the next three decades. These included a rapidly growing population, increasing freight volume, demographic shifts in rural and urban areas, and a transportation system that's facing more frequent extreme weather events. A key takeaway of the study was that we need keep investing in transportation for the sake of future generations, and the proposals included in GROW AMERICA would allow us to do just that.
The GROW AMERICA Express will include visits to universities, manufacturers, bridges, freight facilities, and highway projects in an effort to raise awareness of America's infrastructure deficit. Secretary Foxx will visit with students, business leaders, transportation stakeholders, and community residents, to discuss the projects that work, projects that are needed, and to ask them to commit to standing up for a future with an American transportation system that is second-to-none. To follow the Secretary's tour, visit http://www.dot.gov/grow-america.
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