Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez on Thursday, Sept. 3, joined state, local and other federal officials to break ground on Minnesota’s largest American Recovery and Reinvestment Act project, commemorating the second 100 days of the Recovery Act. The state will use $27 million in Recovery Act funds to jump-start the extension of Trunk Highway 610 in suburban Minneapolis, a critical transportation link in the region.
“The president’s recovery plan is exceeding expectations, putting people back to work and upgrading our nation’s highways,” Mendez says. “Since its passage in February, the Recovery Act has sustained or created tens of thousands of highway jobs and improved more than 3,500 miles of highway, neither of which would have been possible without this funding.”
Mendez says more than 3,400 projects are under way or have been completed all over the nation. Of the $26.6 billion in Recovery Act funds available for highway projects nationwide, $18 billion has been obligated for more than 7,000 projects. Minnesota has more than $502.3 million available, and to date, already the state has obligated 70 percent of those funds – $353 million – toward 132 projects.
Recovery dollars will pay for more than half of the total cost of the TH 610 project, estimated at $48 million, for three miles of a brand new four-lane roadway in Maple Grove from Highway 169 to County Road 81, two interchanges, three overpasses a pedestrian bridge and noise walls. “The project we are celebrating today wouldn’t even be possible until 2014 without the infusion of Recovery Act funds,” Mendez says. “Instead, it is under way and scheduled to be completed in 2011 — three years before construction was planned to start.”