Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg Talks about how improving infrastructure will help the Supply Chain
Funding from the bipartisan infrastructure bill and supply chain relief is starting to flow out to projects across the country. The administration is putting $241 million dollars of grant funding into 25 port projects to strengthen supply chains.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says this will also help with congestion at major ports like LA and Long Beach.
“We announced $52 million to extend rail connections right onto the dock to save a step in terms of having moving around by truck and make it more affordable and more efficient for those containers and those goods to move. And we’re also funding things that were from great lakes, where Marquette, Michigan has an iron ore heavy port that they needed improvements to Mississippi in an inland area, you don’t actually have to live anywhere near the coast to be impacted by these port investments. And there’s going to be even more where that came from.”
He says agriculture should see benefits for both imports and exports.
“It’s not just what’s coming into the country. It’s what’s going out. And that’s another reason why it’s so important us to be funding the ports that get our goods out, so the income from those goods can come into the heartland in the communities that grow and produce them.”
The administration has also announced a trucking action plan to expand apprenticeship programs, encourage more women to consider trucking, and to make it easier to get a commercial driver’s license.
“We count on truckers in so many ways. I mean literally, if you if you eat food, if you wear clothes, you want to think of trucker and yet if you look at the way truck drivers have been treated, it frankly has not reflected just how essential they are to our economy. A lot of times, they were being forced to wait, whether it’s at a port or at a warehouse and nobody’s paying for wasting those drivers time that puts pressure on them and their families it puts pressure on their income and expression our economy.”
To keep goods flowing through rural communities… they will also invest 27 billion dollars for bridges repairs and eliminate the local cost match for many projects.
“Even if you don’t drive, you are affected by the condition of these bridges because so many of our goods and our food and other supplies move across these bridges. Now, when a bridge is out, or if there’s a load limit and a driver of a truck can’t use a bridge and has to reroute. Now sometimes that takes somebody half an hour an hour or more out of their way, especially in rural communities. It’s one of the reasons we want to make sure that small and large communities alike get access to this 27 plus billion dollars, and that’s beginning to flow out to the states as we speak.”
The funding is expected to help repair roughly 15,000 bridges.
For the full interview, click HERE.