Sharing Ideas on America’s Infrastructure Future in Nebraska
I was just in Omaha - the site of the largest stretch of the solar eclipse “path of totality” that gripped the nation’s attention from coast-to-coast last Monday - to participate in a roundtable discussion with transportation and construction leaders in Nebraska. We held a broad-ranging and informative discussion that was made possible by U.S. Senator Deb Fischer, who has been a tireless advocate for transportation needs in her state.
Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao (left) with Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer in Omaha. Photo courtesy of Senator Fischer’s office
The conversation served as a valuable opportunity to learn more about Nebraska’s transportation issues. As a Kentuckian, I understand the concerns many people in America’s rural communities have on infrastructure. Senator Fischer and I both feel strongly that investment in infrastructure should be a top priority for our nation. As we noted in our joint opinion piece in the Omaha World-Herald: “Infrastructure is America’s backbone. It is what keeps the nation moving every day while supporting our economy and national security.”
That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation is addressing the needs and concerns of America’s rural states and communities. Among our recent initiatives is ensuring that at least one-quarter of our recently announced Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program will be utilized for rural projects.
During our meeting, we also touched on the future of autonomous vehicles.
The promise of this new technology includes reducing traffic congestion and providing newfound mobility and convenience for the elderly and disabled. We also discussed the developing technology of drones.
At DOT, we are working to ensure that Americans can benefit from the efficiency and productivity this technology can offer, while also trying to address valid concerns about privacy, security, and safety. As elsewhere in our nation, these advances in transportation would be life-changing for many Nebraskans.
There are many important matters before the Department. There is a lot of hope and trust that we can deliver positive results. Fortunately, we have a lot of people at DOT who are able and eager to do so.