U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has invited the transportation directors from all 50 states to bring their wish lists to Washington, DC.
LaHood spoke of “shovel-ready” projects during an address to open the Mid-West Truckers Association convention on Friday, Feb. 6, in his hometown of Peoria, IL.
LaHood, a former Republican representative in the U.S. House for 14 years, committed to speaking at the convention before being named transportation secretary by President Barack Obama.
“There are plenty of projects and a real pent-up demand for projects across the United States,” LaHood stated. “I’ve asked highway department administrators to come to Washington and bring us some examples.”
LaHood hopes an economic stimulus package passes through Congress soon so transportation money to states can start flowing again.
The environment will be a priority of the federal government, he added, but “only after we get what we need to do to get the economy running again.”
LaHood has addressed the Mid-West Truckers Association in the past. Joining him this time was Rose McMurray, acting administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Mid-West Trucking Association President Donald Schaefer told local media that he believes Illinois is to be well-positioned on trucking and transportation issues with Obama as president and LaHood as transportation secretary.
The convention continued on Monday, Feb. 9.
– By David Tanner, staff writer