U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood addressed city officials on Monday, January 28, during the Georgia Municipal Association’s 2013 Mayors’ Day Conference in Atlanta. Secretary LaHood lauded the ongoing partnership between the DOT and Georgia municipalities, noting the importance of ongoing collaboration under the new surface transportation bill. LaHood, who is stepping down from his post this year, summarized Georgia’s recent successes in earning competitively awarded federal transportation funds in his FastLane blog, portions of which have been reposted below.
“Last week, I wrote about the terrific partnership DOT has enjoyed with America’s mayors. Readers might recall that throughout the past four years, DOT has also put a great deal of emphasis on regional partnerships where state, county, and municipal leaders come together for a common purpose.
Well, this morning I had the pleasure of acknowledging mayors and regional partnerships at the Georgia Municipal Association Mayors’ Day Conference in Atlanta.
Because municipal leaders in Georgia have been able to agree on a set of priorities, the Obama Administration has been able to make key investments in the state’s transportation infrastructure. Altogether, DOT has invested nearly $4.5 billion in Georgia’s highways and $865 million in Georgia’s transit systems since 2009.
We started with the Recovery Act, which financed 398 transportation projects in Georgia—rebuilding 28 Georgia bridges and improving almost 1,400 miles of Georgia roads. And we provided $148 million to improve Georgia’s transit systems.
Through our successful TIGER grant program, we provided $47.6 million to build the Downtown Atlanta Streetcar Line—a 2.6 mile streetcar that connects customers to downtown Atlanta businesses. And we invested in street improvements around the State University in Fort Valley—making the area safer for bicyclists and pedestrians while creating a center of economic activity.
Regions nationwide have made a lot of progress over the past four years. Now, the new surface transportation law, MAP-21, provides transportation funding certainty to states through September 2014. And Georgia’s mayors know that they need to continue working together.
America’s communities must sustain their partnerships and build new ones. We need local leaders, industry, and people from across transportation to continue coming together to help us figure out how we meet the needs of today—and the needs of tomorrow—in Georgia and across the nation.”
To read the full post, check out FastLane, the official blog of the DOT Secretary.