Gregory Nadeau, deputy administrator for the Federal Highway Administration, visited Kansas City, Missouri, on Monday to receive a progress report about the $41.4 million Pleasant Valley Improvement project.
The two-year Clay County project, which begin earlier this month, will include improving Interstate 35 from a mile north of Pleasant Valley Road to Interstate 435. It also includes improving the I-30 and Pleasant Valley Road interchange, as well as the nearby cross streets of US 69, Church Road, Sobbie Road, Pleasant Valley Road and South Liberty Parkway.
"As the workers told me, this project will eliminate a major Kansas City-area chokepoint, and improve traffic flow and safety for thousands of drivers each day," Nadeau said. "These are the kind of projects we need to see more of nationwide. With Congress' help, we will."
With the Highway Trust Fund set to run out of money at the end of May, the Obama administration announced a plan earlier in the year to remedy the infrastructure deficit. The details of the plan were outlined in the $478 billion, six-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal, also known as the Grow America Act. They call for investing in bridges, roads and similar infrastructure needs in order to encourage economic growth in the U.S.
"This project is an example of what we can do with our transportation dollars when we work together with state and local governments, and regional planners," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, referring to the Pleasant Valley Improvement project. "It is also an example of the types of projects that will be put on hold or cancelled altogether unless we can provide long-term funding certainty at the federal level."