U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $60m in grants to 19 states and one U.S. territory to improve ferry service and save and create jobs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“The Recovery Act was put in place quickly to rescue the economy from the worst recession since the Great Depression and rebuild it for a stronger future,” said Secretary LaHood. “Rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure is a key part of that prescription for strength. It creates jobs today and builds for better, more sustainable economy moving forward.”
"The projects we selected will help put people back to work and at the same time offer more access to areas that lack transportation options,” said Secretary LaHood. “It is about providing more travel choices to people from communities that need it the most.”
The Secretary added that most of the projects selected are located in economically distressed areas and will address critical transportation needs. The improvements will be made quickly to satisfy ARRA’s emphasis on immediate economic recovery through infrastructure investment. Priority is given to projects that can be completed in two years or less.
The largest projects are in Nueces, Texas, where a bridge or tunnel is not feasible, and Detroit, Michigan, where ferry service to the suburbs is necessary. Both ferry projects represent key solutions to connect communities and respond to growing traffic needs in the regions.
ARRA provides the $60 million to the Federal Highway Administration’s Ferry Boat Discretionary program, which is intended for the construction and repair of ferry boats and terminal facilities.