March 3rd, 2009
11:10 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama announces first DOT-funded stimulus construction project

The President visited the Department of Transportion Tuesday.
The President visited the Department of Transportion Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that the country is already "seeing shovels hit the ground" on the first infrastructure repair project funded through the Transportation Department's share of the $787 billion stimulus bill.

Watch: New roads save lives, Obama says

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood added, "The work begins today in Montgomery County, Maryland, where a work crew is starting on a project to resurface Maryland State Highway 650 - a very busy road that has not been fully repaired in 17 years."

Obama and LaHood made the announcement during an appearance before federal workers at the Transportation Department.


The resurfacing contract, LaHood said, went to a Pennsylvania-based family-owned company, America Infrastructure.

LaHood said the project will support 60 jobs. "And that's how we're going to get the country back on its feet," he added.

The stimulus plan - signed two weeks ago - will ultimately help steer $28 billion in new federal funds to highway construction and repair - part of the "largest new investment in America's infrastructure since President Eisenhower built the Interstate Highway System," Obama noted.

Obama stated that, over the next few weeks, the country will launch more than 200 construction projects nationwide, "fueling growth in an industry that's been hard hit by our economic crisis."

He promised that, all together, the new highway spending will create or save 150,000 jobs by the end of next year - more jobs "being created or saved in one year than GM, Ford and Chrysler have lost in manufacturing over the past three years combined."

Obama also announced that the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve are launching the Consumer and Business Lending Initiative on Tuesday. When fully implemented, Obama said, the initiative "will generate up to a trillion
dollars in new lending for the American people, and this will help unlock our
frozen credit markets, which is absolutely essential for economic recovery."

soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. MZ

    No wonder so many people, early on, were applying for jobs in the Obama Administration. They were just trying to get out of paying his higher taxes....OR ANY OTHER TAXES !!!!

    March 3, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. Bipartisan

    I'm an independent Obama supporter, but I disagree with him on a few things. I questioned George Bush when he was president and I will question Obama. It is our right and our obligation to question our leaders. So to the fools who want to follow blindly, keep your comments to yourself. Every citizen has the right to oppose and question authority. If you don't question and just go along with everything then you are sheep.

    March 3, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. u2canfail

    At least it is a start! I need positvie news. Please, we are still under 30 days.

    We saw what the GOP has done lately. RUSH and STEELE are in a dog fight! That is 2 jobs! And a lot of folks leaning on shovels, watching. At CPAC, you had a hate fest, nothing more, no ideas. Were you there?

    March 3, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. Just some thoughts...

    Start caring about your neighbor Republicans. The selfishness I see oozing from the Right is unbelievable.

    March 3, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. Mark Cross Junction VA

    I thought his first project was constructing a tunnel to mexico so we can inherit more wetbacks. Remember as he said, we are a Country with open arms.

    March 3, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. Bess Teeler

    This seems like a great way to get more jobs and money into the economy, and also improve our day to day life. Highway 650 in Maryland is definitly i good option to choose for repair, and i'm glad that Obama is actually doing good on his promises. However, this article boasts that the stimulous plan "will ultimately help steer $28 billion in new federal funds to highway construction and repair — part of the "largest new investment in America's infrastructure since President Eisenhower built the Interstate Highway System,"" but i find it hard to believe that the 200 small projects around the country are going to have as prfound an impact as the interstate highway system. That project was revolutionary for transportation in America and i do not believe these small projects will transform our transportation system. However, i am hopeful nonetheless that these projects will improve our economy and beautify our country.

    March 3, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  7. lynn

    Dimes & Rick

    Obama is trying to get the economy moving. The money is for jobs. If you don't see it then ask your senators who may have turned the money down. Bush tore this country up for eight years and you want the President to fix it in 2 months? Sit down!

    March 3, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. Mike H.

    I live in the Washington DC area and the workers on the construction sites here are almost always Latinos.

    Asking how many are illegals is a relevant question. I don't want to see my stimulous dollars going to people who shouldn't be in the country in the first place. Moreover, it hardly stimulates the economy when illegals pay nothing in taxes and send most of their earning back to Mexico or El Salvador.

    March 3, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. wakeupamerica

    Great news!!! Let's see the rest of the states step up with using the stimulus money wisely. At least we've got some progress since November, considering we've had nothing the prior 8 years.

    March 3, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. John

    This is an inaccurate report. The first infrastructure project started a couple of minutes after the stimulus bill was signed; in Tuscumbia, Missouri to replace a decrepit bridge built in 1933 across the Osage River in Miller county Mo.

    March 3, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Ron Jeremy

    Where do the 60 jobs go when the work is done?

    Back to the unemployment line until the gov't. spends more to keep them employed, meanwhile taxing the private sector even more to come up with the funds.

    Then I would expect toll booths (pay for the maint.). Just like Chicago, IL., the stinking armpit of the great lakes.

    March 3, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. Lu

    We have to start somewhere......

    March 3, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. Ian

    60 down, 3,499,940 to go. That's 30 jobs for every month of his presidency. At this rate, everyone should have a job by the year 11731. Way to go Obama! I see our tax dollars were well spent.

    March 3, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. Farid Shakur

    Obama is the smartest President this nation has ever had compared to the Presidents from the past excluding the good civil acts of a few more recent Presidents ie... Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and Clinton. I believe if the congress and senate will work with him America will have a re-surgence from the status where we are now. Obama knows how to listen to the brightest of minds America and countries abroad have. The American people were smart to choose him and they won't regret it.

    March 3, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Mike

    @ Todd

    "I mean, we're almost at 6500!!!! I've never seen that in my lifetime…NEVER…."

    Hey Todd, are you only 12 years old? The DOW was this low in 1997 so how can you say you have never seen this in your lifetime?

    March 3, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. Mike

    A few trillion dollars and he got shovels to work. With alot more trillions maybe he can get a dump truck to work. He,obamby,has already spent our grandchildrens taxes.

    March 3, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Donna

    It's a start, one job at a time, one state at a time. At least he's doing something, instead of handing over the country to his oil rich friends like our last president did.

    March 3, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  18. David

    4 years of progress......don't care who you are. In this current economy, Americans will take what they can as long as some illegals aren't keeping them from a job. 150k a year professionals working $10 an hour jobs. You'll soon find people will do anything to feed their family so don't act like people are above doing certain things.

    March 3, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. John

    Mike March 3rd, 2009 3:22 pm ET

    @ Todd

    "I mean, we're almost at 6500!!!! I've never seen that in my lifetime…NEVER…."

    Hey Todd, are you only 12 years old? The DOW was this low in 1997 so how can you say you have never seen this in your lifetime?

    John March 3rd, 2009 2:22 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    This is an inaccurate report. The first infrastructure project started a couple of minutes after the stimulus bill was signed; in Tuscumbia, Missouri to replace a decrepit bridge built in 1933 across the Osage River in Miller county Mo.

    Where the hell is the moderator ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    March 3, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. Marc

    Todd – Stop playing the fool I believe you aren't.
    If the recession that we are now officially living in could be solved in less than two months of government, then it wouldn't be a RECESSION.
    Everyone was warned that things would get worse before they got better. And it's a simple thing to realize why it will happen that way. The economy is a very complicated thing, you cannot simply WISH that it changes its 'down and under' course to 'above and beyond', you have to act for it. And those actions take time to produce its effects.
    You want to criticize the president's actions. Do it, we're no longer under an administration who demanded kinglike powers and subordination from the people, check the memorandums released today if you don't believe me on that one, we're back to a normal democracy, in which a president has boundaries to his powers and he knows that very well... so you have the whole right to criticize him but please, do not insult YOUR intelligence.

    March 3, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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