The Seventh District of Georgia is sandwiched between I-85 and I-20 and relies heavily on GA-316 and US-78. Millions of cars travel up and down I-85 to and from people's work in Atlanta to their homes in Gwinnett, Walton, Forsyth, Barrow, and Newton Counties. Without these resources, growth and prosperity in our area would be unimaginable.
Of course, the interstate highway system is but one part of our nation's transportation infrastructure -- roads, bridges, ports, railroads, and airplanes are all vital transportation resources that keep our economy moving forward. In fact, one single port deepening project at our state's Savannah Harbor is worth an estimated $115 million annually in added economic benefits to the country. A well-functioning air traffic control system can avert potential airplane disasters and save time and money by drastically reducing air travel delays. Integrated railway systems can reduce our use of fossil fuels, thereby saving Americans millions of dollars every year on high fuel costs for transporting goods across the country.
A comprehensive transportation policy that integrates the needs of the federal government with that of state and local transportation agencies is essential to our nation's economic future. I will work with my colleagues in the House to pass a common-sense reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Act that relies more on innovation and careful use of our scare financial resources than on tax increases.
A crucial part of viable transportation policy is returning as many transportation decisions and dollars to the states. It is only at the local level that our dollars can be put to the highest and best use. In the meantime, federal must be responsible stewards of transportation money moving forward.