U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood on Hand for Dedication of $23 Million Ann Arbor Bridges Project
ANN ARBOR – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today joined Rep. John Dingell and other state and local officials to dedicate the Ann Arbor Bridges project, which is improving safety and providing a better connection between the east and west sides of the city.
The $22.8 million project relied on nearly $16 million in federal funds, including a $13.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program.
“President Obama’s has called on us to ‘Fix it First’ by targeting the most urgent upgrades for roads and bridges,” said Secretary LaHood. “The city of Ann Arbor has been focused on doing just that, and the federal funds used on this project are just another example of our ongoing commitment to supporting much-needed road and bridge improvements while creating jobs at the same time.”
The project, which began in 2011, was the city’s highest transportation priority. It created jobs for hundreds of area workers by replacing two bridges on East Stadium Boulevard over South State Street and the Ann Arbor Railroad, improving access to I-94 and the downtown business district.
The bridges, carrying an estimated 17,000 drivers and nearly 200 pedestrians and bicyclists each day, provide one of the few major links between the east and west sides of the city and are critical parts of one of the most heavily traveled routes in Washtenaw County.
The project provided for improved area roads, as well as the addition of bicycle lanes, street lighting sidewalks and pedestrian tunnels. It also provided for the replacement of storm sewers and a water main near Rose-White Park.
“Upgrading our infrastructure allows us to both put people to work and strengthen the economy,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “This project makes travel safer for Ann Arbor residents while offering greater transportation choices.”
The bridges, about 350 feet apart, were built in 1928. At the time of their replacement, neither met modern design standards and lacked needed horizontal and vertical clearances.