US Transp Sec. Visits QC

April  24, 2014

      Federal funding for transportation projects here, and across the nation, is at risk unless Congress can come up with a long-term financing plan. That was the message today from Anthony Foxx, Secretary of the US Department of Transportation, during a visit to the Quad Cities. Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack invited Foxx to visit so he could inspect the I-74 bridge and see how important it is to replace it, soon. 

      Foxx says there are thousands of bridges like this across the country that also need to be replaced or repaired. But the main funding source, the Highway Trust Fund, will run out of money this summer. 

      "For us to support projects like this, we've got to have a different conversation in Washington. Until we get to a point where there's a long-term approach to how we fund tranportation, projects like this are going to be sitting on a shelf some place."

       And that's why he and President Obama will ask Congress to support a long-term transportation funding bill, totalling about 300 billion dollars.

      "I've never seen a democratic or republican bridge, pothole, airport, or off ramp. These are things we all own, we all use, and we all need. If we can send a consistent message as a country to Congress, I'm confident they'll get to 'yes'."

      State officials are confident there will be enough federal money available for Iowa and Illinois to replace the I-74 bridge, with construction starting in 20-17. A public meeting about the project was held last night in Moline, and will be held tonight in Bettendorf - at the Waterfront Convention Center. 


(photo: (l to r) Iowa 2nd District Congressman Dave Loebsack, US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, Illinois 17th District Congresswoman Cheri Bustos)