The GROW AMERICA Act will increase our nation’s investment in transportation. The returns benefit everyone.
A healthy transportation system is essential for people in all walks of life. Roads and bridges have been at the heart of communities for hundreds of years and, in the 21st century, the role they play continues to benefit everyone.
For workers, they make a difference in getting to and from a job — or job interview. For businesses, they help customers and make the development of interstate, or even international, markets possible. For communities, they improve our quality of life. For our nation, they make the U.S. economy stronger.
Having devoted my career to transportation, I’ve always known this, and I never tire of reminding people about it whenever a new road or bridge project is completed.
Last December, I had the opportunity to see firsthand how valuable transportation investments can be when I participated in the opening of the Interstate 4/Lee Roy Selmon Expressway Connector in Tampa. The project provides direct truck access to Port Tampa Bay, which improves driver safety and reduces congestion by giving commercial trucks somewhere other than local streets to drive.
The project cost $421 million, including $222 million in federal funding. It will pay itself off many times over as a vital commercial route for businesses throughout the region that can more easily move goods to and from Port Tampa Bay. It also improves the local quality of life by giving residents safer and quieter local streets.
Such projects make a difference in people’s lives all over America. But they can’t happen without continued transportation investment.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has traveled the country making the case that more investment is needed — not just to maintain our highway and transit systems but to improve them. During his visit to the Tampa Interstate Study in May, he highlighted the need to bolster America’s infrastructure and said the backlog of repairs and reconstruction isn’t being tackled fast enough.
Working with the Obama Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed the GROW AMERICA Act, a bold $302 billion, four-year national vision to address the country’s aging transportation system. It will support millions of American jobs by repairing and modernizing roads, bridges, railways and transit systems, and ensure that American businesses can compete and grow in the global economy.
Over the past decade, government at all levels has experienced challenges in funding transportation infrastructure. Revenue for the Highway Trust Fund, the federal government’s primary source of funding for road and transit infrastructure, hasn’t kept pace with the costs needed to keep our system functioning. The gap is expected to get worse in the years ahead.
The GROW AMERICA Act will increase our nation’s investment in transportation, making possible larger and more ambitious projects such as the I-4 Connector and the Tampa Interstate Study across Florida, from coast to coast.
Floridians, like the rest of the American people, deserve the world’s best roads and bridges to get them safely where they need to go and to keep our economy strong.
Editor’s note: PERSPECTIVES offers an opportunity for local, state and national leaders to comment on issues of importance to Florida and the Super Region. Have something to share in PERSPECTIVES? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was printed as “Road to Reconstruction”