• October 26, 2020

GUEST VIEW: Trump admin boosting Texas - Odessa American: Guest Columns

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GUEST VIEW: Trump admin boosting Texas

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Posted: Sunday, September 20, 2020 2:15 am

As President Trump often says, infrastructure is the backbone of our Nation’s economy. It is key to remaining competitive today and in the future, and to improving our country’s quality of life. That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation is pleased to be dispersing $1 billion in infrastructure investments through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) discretionary grants program.

BUILD funding supports road, bridge, transit, rail, and port projects in communities large and small. These vital infrastructure investments benefit Americans across the country, including right here in Texas.

In this round of BUILD funding, we’re awarding $25 million to the Texas Department of Transportation to reconstruct the existing interchange at I-20/Cotton Flag Road in the Odessa/Midland area by raising the Cotton Flat Road overpass, converting access ramps from a diamond configuration to an X-configuration, and modifying traffic signalization at the frontage road intersections.

We’re also awarding $25 million to the North Central Texas Council of Governments to make commuter and freight rail capacity improvements between Fort Worth and Dallas, including approximately 1.2 miles of double track from Medical Market Center to Stemmons Freeway, approximately 2.4 miles of second track from Handley Ederville Road to Precinct Line Road, and implementing Clear Path technology to exchange information on train movement in the terminal complex.

While this is great news for Texas, it represents just a fraction of overall investments this Administration has made in boosting the State’s infrastructure. In fact, since January 2017 this Administration has invested more than $19.7 billion in revitalizing Texas’ transportation network.

We know that communities need robust modern infrastructure to thrive. These vital investments make our economy stronger, our families safer, and our roads less congested.

To that end, under the Trump Administration we’ve awarded $3.8 billion in BUILD grants and $3.4 billion in Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (INFRA) grants to communities across the country. Of that, we’ve awarded $2.9 billion to better address the needs of rural America and $960 million in Opportunity Zones.

But we haven’t stopped there. For decades, one of the biggest obstacles to building a modern transportation system has been mountains of bureaucratic red tape in Washington, D.C. That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation has worked to eliminate 11 regulations for every new one put on the books, saving the economy and consumers more than $93 billion.

This Administration is transforming a broken permitting process by speeding up environmental reviews, updating decades-old NEPA procedures, instituting page limits, and streamlining decision-making through One Federal Decision.

The results speak for themselves. Before President Trump assumed office, reviews for highways ballooned to an average of nearly 750 pages in length. We’ve cut the Federal permitting timeline for major projects dramatically so that reviews are expedited and don’t linger for decades.

At the U.S. Department of Transportation, we know that a strong infrastructure network is the foundation of a thriving economy. That’s why this Administration is committed to breathing new life into our highways, railways, and ports. Together, we’re working to build a stronger America – and delivering on the promises we made to the people of Texas.

Odessa, TX

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