The Department of Transportation released the final list of highway and bridge projects funded by $1.026 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) March 16.
PennDOT also released a list of $1.8 billion in projects already scheduled to go to contract in 2009.
"With the added investment from the federal recovery initiative funding, PennDOT will drive a powerful economic engine to help turn around the economy by creating tens of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in material orders," said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. "We are adding the stimulus work on top of the projects we had already planned for this year, and the combined investment totals close to $3 billion -- by far the most highway and bridge work ever produced in a single year in Pennsylvania."
Governor Edward G. Rendell has signed the certifications needed to clear the way for transmission of ARRA transportation funds to the commonwealth.
The job-creating transportation infrastructure investments are part of Governor Rendell's relief and recovery agenda that is focusing on jobs, health care and tuition assistance. Last week he ordered the expansion of the adultBasic health care plan by up to 16,000 people. He also released $5 million in Career Opportunity Grants to help retrain 1,000 jobless Pennsylvanians for green collar jobs.
On March 12, Biehler was in Centre County to announce the first ARRA-funded transportation infrastructure project that was put out for contract. The $2.8 million project will improve six miles of Routes 26 and 64 east of State College.
"More of these contracts will be put out for bid each week," Biehler said. "We will work with contractors and the Federal Highway Administration to get the work started as quickly as possible to get people working and material orders flowing. Tens of thousands of jobs and the state's economic recovery are riding on our efforts and we simply will not fail the people of Pennsylvania."
Biehler will visit other areas of the state in coming weeks to highlight projects on the federal recovery funding list.
Under Governor Rendell's Rebuild Pennsylvania program, approved as part of the 2008-09 state budget, a combination of federal and state funds will underwrite repairs to 411 bridges in the state transportation improvement program.
Bridge investments in Pennsylvania have more than tripled in the past six years, growing to approximately $1 billion in 2008-09, compared to $259 million in 2003.