Sunday, May 26, 2024

DOTD secretary joins panelists at the White House Accelerating Infrastructure Summit in Washington, D.C.

by BIZ Magazine

DOTD Secretary and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) President Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. served as a panelist Thursday at the Accelerating Infrastructure Summit in Washington, D.C., where he discussed the impacts on transportation projects from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) with a focus of being On-time, On-task and On-Budget.

The infrastructure summit, hosted by the White House’s Infrastructure Implementation Task Force, highlighted ways that collaborative partnerships among government, private sector, and nonprofit organizations can deliver infrastructure on time, on task, and on budget. As the BIL nears its one-year anniversary, officials also discussed accelerating infrastructure delivery by creating better roads, rebuilding bridges, expanding broadband, investing in clean drinking water, and creating a more resilient power grid.

“The BIL has created the opportunity for the state to advance much-needed projects that have been put on hold due to a lack of funding,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said. “The Biden administration’s commitment to infrastructure will benefit the residents across Louisiana and provide an immense economic impact statewide. Having leaders like Secretary Wilson participate in these high-level discussions are beneficial to the state and to the nation.”

“Secretary Wilson and AASHTO have been tremendous partners in our work to deliver on the historic, unprecedented opportunity that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law presents,” Senior Advisor to the President and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu said. “Together, we can ensure that we accelerate our progress in building a better Louisiana and a better America.”

“It is an honor to be asked to speak at the White House where I can represent the state of Louisiana, DOTD, and AASHTO among other national transportation leaders to discuss accelerating infrastructure,” said Wilson. “We have worked hard as an agency to be in the forefront of our industry, nationally and in state. We recognize the transformational moment where we find ourselves. I commend the Biden-Harris administration for seeing the challenges each state faces and following through with their real and meaningful resources through the passing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. I would like to thank President Biden, U.S. DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu for convening this summit and addressing the nation’s aging infrastructure.”

Among those on the panel were U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan, Executive Director of Transportation Research Board Neil Pedersen, P.E., and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Michael L. Connor, to name a few.

Funding allocated through the BIL will advance much-needed projects throughout the state. Statewide, funding from the IIJA will be allocated to:

  • $4.8 billion to highways
  • Over $1 billion to bridges, with $270 million allocated to off-system bridges
  • $470 million to public transportation
  • $73 million to electric vehicle infrastructure
  • $179 million to airports
  • And $20 million to a more resilient transportation system that has the capability to recover from disruptions such as extreme weather

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