"Remarks as prepared for delivery"
Ann Arbor Bridges Project
Ann Arbor, MI
May 14, 2013
Thank you, Congressman Dingell. Hello everyone. It’s great to be here.
I want to thank Congressman Dingell and Mayor Hieftje for their vision and leadership.
At DOT, our number one priority is safety. Every day, we think about safety so that travelers don’t have to.
This includes rebuilding and repairing the bridges that drivers, cyclists and pedestrians use every day.
DOT was proud to provide nearly $16 million, including over $13 million through our TIGER grant program, to complete this project.
These new bridges will ensure that Ann Arbor commuters and students can get to downtown businesses and the University of Michigan safely and quickly.
This project is reducing delays and congestion, and with new bike lanes and sidewalks, it will ensure safety for all travelers—no matter what mode they choose.
This project also created hundreds of jobs and encouraged more than $50 million in economic development.
When the President talks about fixing it first—this is exactly what he means.
Over the last four years, we’ve done a great job at putting people to work upgrading our bridges, roads and more. Using the Recovery Act and other federal funds, we’ve repaired or replaced over 20,000 bridges just like this.
But we know we have more work ahead of us. There are more than 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. And it’s our duty to invest in those bridges—and the rest of our infrastructure—so that the next generation has a transportation system it can depend on.
We’re now accepting applications for our fifth round of TIGER grants. I’m proud to tell you that we have $474 million available for projects that will make a difference—that will make improvements to highways and bridges, passenger and freight rail systems, transit systems, and ports.
Over the last four rounds of TIGER, we have provided $3.1 billion to support 218 projects in all 50 states.
Demand is huge. Over the course of our TIGER grant program, more than 4,000 applicants requested more than $105 billion for transportation projects.
Looking around, it’s easy to see how transportation investments can help revitalize America.
When we invest in our infrastructure, we are making a down payment on the future.
We are building stronger communities for our kids and grandkids.
We are putting people to work today and we are strengthening our economy over the long term.
President Obama called on us to grow the economy by making America a magnet for jobs and manufacturing.
And he called on us to invest in the kind of infrastructure that encourages businesses to hire and expand here in the U.S.
Like generations before us, we must invest in our bridges, roads and other infrastructure.
And we must work together to get the job done.
Great job everyone. This project is a great example of what’s possible when we work together.