U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx visited the proposed I-635 LBJ Freeway East improvement project near Dallas today as part of his Invest in America, Commit to the Future bus tour, calling it an investment in Texas' economic future that could be achieved if Congress would support a long-term transportation bill. The Secretary's visit is part of a multi-state tour highlighting the urgent need to invest in America's transportation infrastructure at a time when the nation's surface transportation programs are set to expire and the Highway Trust Fund is running out of money. Secretary Foxx was joined by Garland Mayor Douglas Athas and numerous local and state officials.
"Projects like the I-635 LBJ Freeway East will not only create jobs, but also lay the foundation for long-term economic growth for entire regions and industries," said Secretary Foxx. "I'm traveling across the country all week to highlight projects like this that that exemplify the need for new transportation funding."
Estimated to cost $1.5 billion, the project would improve mobility for the greater Dallas metro area by reconstructing the entire highway from US 75 to I-30, increasing the number of HOV lanes and widening lanes and adding frontage roads. However, the 11-mile-long project is not underway due to a lack of funding. When funding becomes available, the project would extend east through Dallas, Garland and Mesquite, and connect to other improvements currently under construction on the LBJ Expressway project.
Secretary Foxx spoke about the Administration's plan to address the infrastructure deficit with a $302 billion, four-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal. The plan will invest in our national infrastructure network, increase safety and efficiency and provide greater access to ladders of opportunity, all without adding to the deficit. Later this month, Secretary Foxx and President Obama will send a bill to Congress that will make this vision a reality and put more Americans back to work repairing and modernizing our roads, bridges, railways, and transit systems.
"Throughout our history, Americans have always been able to leave their children a brighter future, thanks in part to the opportunities transportation has provided," said Secretary Foxx. "We are at risk of failing our children. We need to not only invest in America, but commit to the future -- not only rebuild and repair our roads and bridges, but reimagine how we do it."
Secretary Foxx's Invest in America, Commit to the Future bus tour is taking him through eight states in five days. The tour includes visits to manufacturers, bridges, freight facilities and highway projects in an effort to raise awareness of America's infrastructure needs. Secretary Foxx is visiting with business leaders, stakeholders and community members to discuss how transportation projects are making a difference, and to highlight infrastructure gaps that we need to fill in order to promote economic growth and American competitiveness.