Last week, I wrote about the terrific partnership DOT has enjoyed with America's mayors. Readers might recall that throughout the past four years, DOT has also put a great deal of emphasis on regional partnerships where state, county, and municipal leaders come together for a common purpose.
Because municipal leaders in Georgia have been able to agree on a set of priorities, the Obama Administration has been able to make key investments in the state's transportation infrastructure. Altogether, DOT has invested nearly $4.5 billion in Georgia’s highways and $865 million in Georgia’s transit systems since 2009.
We started with the Recovery Act, which financed 398 transportation projects in Georgia—rebuilding 28 Georgia bridges and improving almost 1,400 miles of Georgia roads. And we provided $148 million to improve Georgia’s transit systems.
We also helped Georgia improve access to transit for thousands of servicemen and women so they can get to work, school, medical appointments, and everywhere else they need to go.
In the skies and on the ground, we’ve made improvements to the airports in Atlanta, Savannah and Southwest Georgia. As part of our Metroplex initiative, we are not only improving the airspace surrounding Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson, but also the airspace surrounding nearby airports Peachtree-Dekalb and the Fulton County Airport, better known as Charlie Brown Field. These improvements are going to increase efficiency in Atlanta and beyond.
We also helped extend one of the runways by 500 feet at Hartsfield-Jackson. This allows planes to carry more passengers and cargo in and out of the airport. In total, we’ve provided $150 million for improvements at Hartsfield-Jackson over the last four years.
At the Savannah Airport, we’ve helped to build a new taxiway that is critical to the expansion of the Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation expected to bring about 1,000 new jobs to the Georgia coast. And at the Albany Airport, we’re helping to build a new terminal building.
On the water, we’ve made sure the Port of Savannah gets the critical attention it deserves. This is part of an Administration-wide focus on our ports across the nation. America's ports are job creators, and they’re critical to helping us compete in a global economy and meet the President’s goal of doubling our national exports by 2015.
Regions nationwide have made a lot of progress over the past four years. Now, the new surface transportation law, MAP-21, provides transportation funding certainty to states through September 2014. And Georgia's mayors know that they need to continue working together.
America's communities must sustain their partnerships and build new ones. We need local leaders, industry, and people from across transportation to continue coming together to help us figure out how we meet the needs of today—and the needs of tomorrow—in Georgia and across the nation.