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U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $5.6 Million in Grants for Arkansas Highway Projects

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Ray LaHood

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $5.6 Million in Grants for Arkansas Highway Projects

Federal Highway Administration
17 August 2011

FHWA 37-11
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Contact: Kelly Hanahan
Tel: 202-366-0660

Funds will help create jobs by widening roadways and improving safety

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced more than $5.6 million in grants for Arkansas to fund an array of highway-related efforts ranging from widening part of I-40 to constructing a new overpass in Blytheville.

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

Arkansas received funding for the following projects.

Widening I-40 from Conway to I-430 to reduce congestion and emissions, and improve safety and economic development $3,750,000
Constructing the Highway 18 Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Overpass in Blytheville $1,000,000
Using an innovative pavement alternative and Safety Edge on Section 1 of Highway 213 $420,000
Enhancing the Peel Ferry Railway Dry Dock System in Marion County $238,000
Providing highway industry skills training and education, tools, transportation and childcare as part of the On-the-Job Training/Supportive Services Program $144,382
Providing outreach, education, and identification capabilities to recruit minority and female contractors who could apply for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certification $133,394
TOTAL $5,685,776

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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