This morning, our bus pulled up to its second-to-last stop: Garland, Texas, a city of about 200,000 outside Dallas.
If you've been following along with our tour, you know that, at previous stops, my team and I have disembarked the bus to see infrastructure projects underway -- highways, bridges, transit lines -- all things that are helping improve lives and promote commerce.
But I wasn't in Garland to see anything, so to speak. And that's because there isn't funding to build it.
The expansion of the Lyndon Johnson Freeway in Garland is one of countless projects across the country that needs to be tackled, but can't because we aren't adequately investing in our infrastructure. Dallas and the surrounding area sit at the center of one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, and they desperately need new roads to help reduce congestion and to create jobs, as well.
In fact, the people of Garland know building roads can grow the economy because they've seen it before.
Eight years ago, Texas' DOT announced that they were building a frontage to connect this city's Centerville Marketplace with the highway. They said they'd put $10 million into the project, which as far as roads go, isn't a lot. But from that 10 million, more than $25 million poured in to redevelop the marketplace, spurring on the creation of new jobs and new businesses.
These are the kinds of investments we need to make all over the country. And my hope is that, if we do, the next time I go back to Garland, there will be a new highway there to see.
After my stop in Garland, I finished my bus tour by speaking to the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce. It was a great opportunity to talk to business leaders in the region about how investments in infrastructure are absolutely crucial to the health of our nation's economy.
Even though my bus tour is over, you can be sure that I will continue to spread the message that America's economic growth depends on good transportation infrastructure, and good transportation depends on the funding stability that can only be found in a multi-year transportation bill.
Check out the highlights of my trip at http://www.dot.gov/invest-in-america.
And if you haven't already, send us your transportation story at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll add these stories to our bus tour website, so everyone can see the difference transportation makes in our everyday lives.