The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $273.9 million to a dozen new projects that are designed to improve safety, inspection, and freight movement on rural roadways in multiple U.S. states. An initiative from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will invest over $2 billion through 2026 for rural projects to assist in adequate infrastructure to improve highway safety and increase access to agricultural, commercial, and freight facilities.
“Infrastructure investments haven’t always reached rural America, leaving far too many roads, bridges, and other parts of the transportation system across our country in disrepair. We’re delivering the investments that rural communities have gone without for far too long, modernizing transportation, creating economic opportunity, and making life better for millions of people” – says Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
An enormous $959 million, was awarded to Niagara County in New York in order to help cover $1.2 billion in upgrades to bring the Hartland Road Bridge over Golden Hill Creek to modern safety and design standards. The 70-year-old bridge has received no major rehabilitation work in more than three decades.
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Improvements to truck traffic and state-wide transportation are also planned in Virginia to widen Interstate 64. The Virginia Department of Transportation was awarded $25 million for the project, which has future eligible grant costs of $300 million.
Under the Virginia plan, a 10-mile section will receive a third lane expansion in each direction, along with a wider shoulder. The extra lanes are expected to enhance safety by improving spacing between heavy vehicles traveling the corridor, where over 70% of crashes are linked to vehicle roadway departures.
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In South Dakota, a $26.2 million grant was awarded to the Bureau of Indian Affairs Route 7 Regional Improvement Project for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. This project will reconstruct approximately 24 miles of roadway from the U.S.; routes 18 to 83. This work aims to improve safety, freight movements, and access for the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, among the most economically disadvantaged reservations in the nation.
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