President Barack Obama has announced the release of $26.6 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to states and local transportation authorities to repair and build highways, roads and bridges. The President was joined by Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at a ceremony this week to announce the release of the funds.
According to the Dept. of Transportation (DOT), state highway departments across the country have already identified over 100 transportation projects, totaling more than $750 million, for which construction can start within the month.
Each proposed project must be approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) before work can begin, after the state’s governor certifies that the projects meet certain conditions and that the state will use the funds in addition to, and not to replace, state funding of transportation projects, DOT said.
“President Obama is keeping his promise to the American people and he is doing it ahead of schedule,” said Secretary LaHood. “This is a long-overdue investment in our transportation infrastructure and in jobs for Americans.”
Obama is the first sitting President to visit DOT headquarters along with his Vice President, the agency noted.