A few weeks ago, in his State of the Union address, President Obama talked about the importance of investing in transportation to create jobs, make America a magnet for businesses, and improve the quality of people’s lives. And at DOT we're working hard to help make that happen around the country with support for roads, rails, and runways.
One new roadway that has been reducing congestion and benefiting companies and commuters in Texas since last October is the Western Extension of the President George Bush Turnpike, a north-south limited access highway just west of Dallas in Grand Prairie. Last Friday, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez helped dedicate this last phase of the $1.1 billion PGBT, completing the vital regional connector.
The initial sections of the PGBT offer six lanes of east-west expressway in the developing economic area in the northern part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. It links commuters to high-tech corridors, corporate headquarters, and other important destinations, and it gives motorists additional access to U.S. 75, the Dallas North Tollway, I-35E, and I-635. This toll road also offers travelers an alternative route to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
The newest section, the 11.2 mile Western Extension, connects to the vital east-west corridors of SH 183, I-30, the 303 Spur, and I-20. By creating a parallel route to the currently congested SH 360, the extension gives commuters easier access to the growing number of economic opportunities along the north side of the Metroplex. And, for the businesses in the north, a smoother and more efficient traffic flow of workers and goods means improved access to talented employees, freight shipping, and customers.
As Administrator Mendez said, "We value our partnerships with state and local governments to make projects like this a reality. The combination of funding tools used for the Western Extension is a model for how we can work together to bring innovative solutions to our transportation needs."
That's why the Partnership to Rebuild America that President Obama recently proposed is such a valuable idea. Using innovative financing approaches, from programs like TIFIA to public-private partnerships, will help us continue building the kind of infrastructure the American economy--and the American people--need.
After all, in 2011, Americans stuck in traffic wasted more than $120 billion in time and fuel. We can put that money back in people’s pockets and pump it back into the economy to create jobs and continue our nation’s economic growth.
As Administrator Mendez noted, investing in transportation infrastructure is working in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, and in regions across the nation.
But we have plenty of work to do; let's get busy.