THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release June 12, 2009
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN CONCLUDES "ROAD TO RECOVERY"
TOUR WITH MICHIGAN GROUNDBREAKING
Vice President Biden concluded a two-day, three-state "Road to Recovery" tour with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where they attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the I-94 widening and Westnedge Avenue interchange reconstruction project. The Vice President and Secretary LaHood were joined by Governor Jennifer Granholm and United States Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow.
Today’s event marked the groundbreaking of the 2000th transportation construction project funded under the Recovery Act. This $43.9 million project to widen and enhance I-94 will help relieve congestion along one of Michigan’s main commercial trucking corridors. Construction on I-94 would not have moved forward without Recovery Act funding. Since this project was announced in April, an additional 2500 transportation construction projects have been funded under the Recovery Act, for a total of approximately 4500 projects in 53 states and U.S. territories.
Vice President Biden also announced that the Treasury Department is making Recovery Zone Bonds available today, $2 billion of which are going to the state of Michigan. The Recovery Zone Bond program was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and helps states and communities hardest hit by this recession attract new jobs and new private investment. Michigan counties are three of the top ten recipients of Recovery Zone Bond allocations.
"Today, we’re not just breaking ground on the 2000th transportation project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; we’re making an investment on our economic future," said Vice President Biden. "We’re not just widening Westnedge Avenue; we’re widening opportunity. We’re not just rebuilding a road; we’re rebuilding our economy."
"We are seeing tangible results from the Recovery Act all over the country," Secretary LaHood said. "Construction companies are hiring again; skilled people who had lost good jobs are back on the payroll; and infrastructure repairs that had been delayed for years are now under way."
"Recovery Act projects like this one in Kalamazoo are making a real and positive difference in the lives of Michigan citizens," said Governor Granholm. "These projects are helping people through difficult times by creating jobs and enabling us to build the infrastructure necessary for new economic growth."
"The Kalamazoo I-94 project – the 2000th funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – will create local jobs both directly and indirectly, which is only the beginning of the increased economic activity we hope to spur right here in Michigan," said Senator Levin.
"I am pleased to join with Vice President Biden here in Kalamazoo to kick off the 2000th Recovery Act transportation construction project," said Senator Stabenow. "This project, that will create local jobs in our state, is only the latest way that Michigan’s families and economy are benefiting from our program to reinvest in America and truly put us on a road to recovery."
President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law on February 17, 2009, as the nation faced the greatest economic crisis in half a century. Just over 100 days into the two-year economic recovery program, over $135 billion in Recovery Act funds have been obligated to programs and projects that create jobs and strengthen the economy.