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Guest on The Infra Blog: U.S. DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx

Posted by Steve Anderson on Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

foxxAnthony Foxx became the 17th United States Secretary of Transportation on July 2, 2013.

As U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Foxx leads an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget that oversees air, maritime, and surface transportation.  His primary goal is to ensure that America maintains the safest, most efficient transportation system in the world. Since entering office, Secretary Foxx has led the call for increased investment in infrastructure. 

Earlier this month, U.S. DOT released a landmark study, “Beyond Traffic” that looked at the trends and choices facing America’s transportation over the next three decades. These included a rapidly growing population, increasing freight volume, demographic shifts in rural and urban areas, and a transportation system that’s facing more frequent extreme weather events. A key takeaway of the study is that we need to keep investing in transportation for the sake of future generations, and the proposals included in GROW AMERICA would allow us to do just that.

During a break from the GROW AMERICA Express Tour, Secretary Foxx spoke with Steve Anderson, InfrastructureUSA’s Managing Director: 

DOT Bus Tour: Invest In America, Commit to the Future
…When you start connecting, as we’re doing on this bus tour, communities as diverse as Tallahassee, FL; Savannah, GA; Columbia, SC; Raleigh, NC; you start seeing that the same things are happening in all of these places. Then the public starts to realize that this is a much bigger story, and it’s a much bigger challenge, and that’s why the president and I think it deserves a big solution like the GROW AMERICA Act.

Growing Public Support Through Education
We appreciate all efforts to educate Americans about our infrastructure…to educate folks and to help folks understand that they can play a role in moving America forward…Part of what we’re doing is trying to educate people and connect the dots so that they see that these investments that happen at the federal level aren’t some kind of smoke and mirrors. It’s stuff that actually helps them on the ground. It helps deal with some of the problems they have.

Transportation Improves More Than Just Commutes
Transportation packs a powerful punch. It creates jobs in the process of getting projects done, it makes jobs possible in terms of the connections that we create, and we also know that when we make smart choices about infrastructure that it improves the places in between.

Now Is The Time to Invest In Transportation
It is a very important time for American infrastructure—maybe the most important time that we’ve ever had, because we have this incredible legacy infrastructure that’s been bequeathed to us by previous generations…That system is starting to deteriorate, and we have to take care of it. At the same time we’ve also got tremendous growth that we’re experiencing as a country—70 million more people over the next 30 years.

Without a Long-Term Plan, We Can Only Fail
…There’s never a perfect time to take a big project on and to create a national vision for transportation. But at the same time we’ve always found a way to do it. I have to tell you that right now the really dangerous point we’re at is that we just don’t have a plan. And, frankly, not having a plan is a plan. It’s a plan to fail, but it’s a plan.

Download full version (PDF): U.S. DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx on The Infra Blog

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