WASHINGTON — There are 10,000 transportation infrastructure projects under way in all 50 states and the District of Columbia with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Vice President Joe Biden announced yesterday.
Biden trumpeted the projects during a visit to North Carolina, where a $26 million project — the Sanford Bypass — was accelerated by stimulus funding. The project is designed to redirect commercial truck traffic away from the heart of the city of Sanford, relieve congestion and maintenance problems, and increase access for businesses to relocate and expand in the area.
The spring construction season has begun, and now there are $29.8 billion of transportation projects currently being worked on, the U.S. Department of Transportation said in a release.
The funds provided for transportation in the ARRA has already “improved more than 33,000 miles of pavement across the United States; helped purchase nearly 12,000 buses, vans, and rail vehicles; helped construct or renovate more than 850 transit facilities; and provided more than $620 million in preventive maintenance,” the DOT said.
Advocates have regularly pointed to the number of jobs created or job cuts avoided, projects breaking ground, and the high rate of obligation of ARRA funds by states and municipal entities as evidence that job-creation funds are well-spent on highways, bridges, transit, and related projects.
The DOT this month met a statutory deadline to obligate all of its ARRA funds for highway and transit projects.
“This spring, Recovery Act projects will pick up the pace across the country, providing even more jobs improving America’s roads, highways, and bridges,” Biden said during the stop in Durham, N.C.
“Construction activity is expected to ramp up even further in the next few months” as warmer temperatures allow more projects to break ground,” the DOT said.
Major projects under construction include the Nelsonville Bypass in southeast Ohio, which received $138 million in ARRA funds; the $653 million Selmon Expressway Crosstown Connector in Tampa, which received $105 million; and the $47.7 million South Westnedge Avenue Interchange on Interstate 94 near Kalamazoo, Mich., which is fully funded by ARRA grants.