The stimulus law is currently supporting 10,000 active transportation construction projects, and will further ramp up this spring, said Vice President Joseph Biden.
He made the remarks in North Carolina, where officials said the Sanford Bypass project that is now breaking ground will redirect commercial trucks around the heart of that town to relieve congestion and maintenance problems.
Most projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are road and bridge repairs funded through the Federal Highway Administration. The FHWA said 2,200 of its stimulus projects have already been completed, 8,000 are under way and federal funding has been obligated for more of them.
Other projects under the Department of Transportation are to address airport or transit needs, plus special accounts for rail system grants and mixed-modal surface transportation funding for projects that have special national or regional significance.
In all, DOT has $48.1 billion to spend from the Recovery Act, and says that as of March 5 it had paid out $9.57 billion to states for work already done. Yet federal officials emphasize that job-generating materials ordering, engineering and construction actually get under way much earlier, when the money is obligated or set aside for specific projects.
Biden said that on top of the 10,000 projects now in construction, “this spring Recovery Act projects will pick up the pace across the country, providing even more jobs improving America’s roads, highways and bridges.”
Some transportation stimulus projects are outside DOT’s purview. The Coast Guard is helping rebuild parts of several railroad bridges over waterways, to eliminate some obstructions they pose to barging and other navigation below. Customs funding to build new border surface facilities, Commerce Department infrastructure grants for logistics parks and Environmental Protection Agency programs to retrofit or replace old locomotives and tugs are also in the Recovery Act.
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