U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Visits Florida's I-95 Overland Bridge Replacement Project
Topics: Anthony Foxx, Interstate Highway System
Federal Highway Administration
17 February 2015
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Contact: Nancy Singer
Calls for Increased National Transportation Investment
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx joined Congresswoman Corrine Brown and Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown today at the I-95 Overland Bridge Replacement Project in Jacksonville and praised the Florida Department of Transportation's efforts to replace aging infrastructure. 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.
"We've got a country to rebuild so we can compete well into the 21st Century and we are doing it right here in Jacksonville," said Secretary Foxx. "The American people are ready to get to work, to put hammer to steel and pour some concrete, but we need Congress to get onboard and provide the certainty of long-term funding we need to get the job done."
Originally built in 1959 and reconstructed in 1989, the Overland Bridge is a good example of aging infrastructure and of the improvements that federal funds can make possible. At $196 million in construction costs alone, the project – which relies on $73 million in federal funding – is considered the largest highway construction effort in northeast Florida's history.
Workers are replacing the structurally deficient interstate bridge on a section of I-95 just south of downtown Jacksonville that serves an estimated 147,000 drivers each day. Widening and adding lanes will relieve traffic congestion, and added bike lanes along the Atlantic Boulevard will provide more travel options.
"Federal funding has been an important part of road and bridge repairs for decades," said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. "As Jacksonville residents know, replacing this bridge with a better one is the kind of transportation investment we need more of nationwide."
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 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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