Early congressional reviews of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act activity in core transportation sectors give agencies generally good marks, but lawmakers plan to keep a keen eye on stimulus spending as the flow increases. At recent House and Senate hearings, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said highway and transit sectors are showing the most progress. He also shed light on two big programs for which DOT hasn’t committed any money yet: $8 billion for high-speed rail and $1.5 billion for unspecified major projects. LaHood praised California’s rail plans and wants to fund work in several other corridors. He also said he’d like to see the $1.5-billion program emphasize port projects.
DOT has made $44.8 billion of its $48.1 billion in stimulus aid available to states and localities and obligated more than $9 billion for specific projects, LaHood told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on April 29. “While there is much work remaining, I believe we have already achieved enormous success,” he said.