Wednesday, May 6, 2009

District stimulus begins with Southeast/Southwest Freeway

From the Voice of the Hill web site
Federal stimulus dollars have started to flow and are funding job-creating projects in the District, Mayor Adrian Fenty said last week at the site of the first D.C. transportation project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The half-finished project — repaving a stretch of the Southeast/Southwest Freeway — began recently and will be completed during the first weekend that weather and the Nationals game schedule permit, Fenty said.

Fenty and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton praised the District Department of Transportation for its alacrity in funneling federal dollars into the city's transportation infrastructure. The District received more than $123 million from the stimulus package for transportation-related projects, but $86 million of that came with the requirement that the agency obligate 50 percent of the money by June 30.

That benchmark has consequences, Norton reminded her audience. States that do not meet that target may see their money redistributed. "This is move it or lose it," she said.

The Transportation Department has already exceeded the congressionally imposed timetable, having obligated 70 percent of the $86 million funding stream to particular projects.

Agency director Gabe Klein, who became acting director a few weeks before President Barack Obama signed the stimulus bill, said he is pleased with his department's performance. "I look forward to spending all the money and qualifying for funds others couldn't spend," he said.

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