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U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $5.4 Million in Grants for Alabama Highway Projects

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Ray LaHood

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $5.4 Million in Grants for Alabama Highway Projects

Federal Highway Administration
17 August 2011

FHWA 37-11
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Contact: Doug Hecox
Tel: 202-366-0660

Funds will help create jobs by funding state's top two road improvement projects

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $5.4 million in grants to fund an array of highway-related efforts in Alabama ranging from repairs to the state's two highest priority road projects and highway construction training programs to help those displaced from the state's many plant, factory and business closures find work.

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

Alabama received funding for the following projects:

Resurfacing of I-10 from East of Halls Mill Creek to Water Street in Mobile $2,000,000
Widening of westbound I-10 bridge and resurfacing of I-10 from East End of Bay Way Bridge to east of SR 59 in Mobile $2,000,000
Improvements to Gee’s Bend Ferry Docks and Terminal (Camden) $583,000
Sidewalk improvements on North Railroad Avenue Project in Opelika $260,880
Highway construction training seminar for those displaced by Alabama plant, factory and business closings $250,000
Specialized training in highway contract management and other skills related to competing for work on highway projects $170,209
Improvements to docking facility in Fort Morgan $158,000
TOTAL $5,422,089

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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