Yesterday's leg of my "Invest in America, Commit to the Future" bus tour ended with a visit to the site of the I-49 North Segment K project currently under way in Shreveport, Louisiana.
A 19-mile segment opened last year, and construction workers are now completing the final mile of a 10-mile segment of the project, which is slated to open in May.
It's a remarkable effort, one eight years in the making. And it's going to make a huge difference -- not just in the lives of the folks who live near there, but folks throughout the nation.
By 2020, 37,000 vehicles will travel this highway every day, reducing traffic on other roads. It's one reason we, at DOT, are proud to provide this project with more than $42 million in federal funding.
We were also proud because many of those 37,000 vehicles will be commercial trucks. By completing this stretch of highway, the project completes a freight corridor that will seamlessly connect Louisiana to Kansas City and help send goods from the heart of the country to markets around the world.
But while this highway will make a huge difference in the region and across the country, more than 60 percent of all the roads in Louisiana are unfortunately still in "poor or mediocre condition." And because bad roads mean more traffic jams and more wear-and-tear on cars, they're costing every driver in that state $408 dollars a year.
But the cost today is nothing compared to the cost to future generations.
That's why I'm asking Americans to join me in support of the proposal set forth by President Obama and DOT, which will provide funding for our nation's roads and bridges all across the country.