June 8, 2009 By Chad Vander Veen
The first week of June marked the commencement of a number of new transportation projects across the nation. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is directing more than $27 billion to state and local agencies for transportation improvement projects. The type of transportation projects ARRA is funding run the gamut, from former pipedreams like high-speed rail to decidedly low-tech, but critical, ventures such as highway resurfacing.
Seen by the Obama administration as vital components of economic recovery, transportation infrastructure funds are being delivered to state and local agencies with a requirement that the money be spent within 120 days of receipt. For state and county transportation departments around the country, this taxpayer-funded windfall is breathing new life into many "shovel-ready" projects that had seemingly withered on the fiscal vine.
What follows is a partial list highlighting some recent state transportation spending activity.
Alabama: $12.2 million for runway and terminal rehabilitation at 10 state airports.
Arizona: $7.3 million for bridge rehabilitation, pavement improvement and fence replacement.
Colorado: $11.5 million to resurface 24 miles of Interstate 70.
Florida: $65.3 million has been approved for airport improvement projects; $883.5 million has been assigned to 105 bridge and highway projects.
Indiana: $22 million for 17 projects, including relocating a bridge in Harrison County and the construction of a boat dock in the city of Delphi.
Kansas: $82.3 million for interchange reconstruction; $64.2 million to expand Kansas state highway 61 to four lanes.
Nebraska: $23 million for local agencies to create or improve mass transit options.
New York: $7.7 million for a bridge replacement in Onondaga County.
Pennsylvania: $30.2 million for rural and intercity bus service; $9.3 million for the rehabilitation of the Elizabethtown Train Station; and $283,000 for bus service scheduling software in Carbon County.
South Carolina: $43.7 million to resurface 60 county roads, install thermoplastic pavement markers, and install light-emitting diode signal lights in several counties.
Wyoming: $4.3 million to replace 23 miles of snow fencing along Interstate 80.