LaHood poised to roll out state transportation funds

| 2/13/2009

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said money from the economic stimulus plan will begin flowing to state DOTs as soon as Congress and President Obama complete the approval process.

LaHood met with state transportation officials Wednesday, Feb. 11, in Washington, DC, as key members of the U.S. House and Senate were meeting to finalize the economic recovery legislation.

“The upshot of these meetings is that we have thousands of worthwhile transportation projects that are ready to go. They’ve cleared all the hurdles and just need the funding,” LaHood stated following the meeting.

“The U.S. Department of Transportation is ready to get the money out the door. We now need the Congress to pass a final bill.

The stimulus plan emerged from the House and Senate conference committee as a $789.5 billion package that includes $27.5 billion for highway infrastructure. Each chamber must approve the final plan by vote before it goes to the president’s desk for signature into law.

State departments of transportation provided LaHood with lists of “shovel ready” projects aimed at improving infrastructure and putting people to work.

LaHood recently formed an oversight team to track how the transportation funds will be spent. He dubbed it the TIGER team, which stands for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery.

– By David Tanner, staff writer