By Paul Snyder
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Wednesday that the Federal Highway Administration’s transportation investments crossed the $20 billion mark this week.
The money is directed toward highway, road and bridge projects throughout the country. The $36 million replacement of the I-25/Alameda bridge in Denver pushed investments past the milestone. The project’s approval capped one of the busiest months of highway spending, with nearly $760 million approved.
Other substantial progress includes:
*Construction starting in August on the $26.2 million I-279/Fort Duquesne Bridge preservation project in Pittsburgh, designed to improve the safety of the bridge that serves an estimated 81,000 drivers each day
*Construction starting in September on a $1 billion project in San Bernardino, Calif., using $128 million in federal stimulus money for additional lanes on I-215 to reduce traffic congestion
*Construction starting in September on the three-mile extension of Minneapolis’ Trunk Highway 610 to I-94
*Construction starting — with a $138 million federal stimulus boost — in October in Nelsonville, Ohio, on the 8.5-mile, four-lane highway to divert interstate traffic from local streets.
To date, nearly 8,500 highway projects throughout the country have been approved for stimulus money and nearly 5,000 are under way.