AASHTO President and Mississippi Department of Transportation Executive Director Larry L. “Butch” Brown shared the stage with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at the first Surface Transportation Reauthorization Tour, hosted by the U.S. DOT in New Orleans, La.
Brown moderated one of three panels held at the outreach tour. In remarks introducing his session, “Economic Development and State of Good Repair,” Brown said that preserving the transportation system and adding needed capacity to meet continuing population growth should be one of the nation’s top priorities.
“Over the next 20 years, this country’s population is expected to grow by at least 50 million. That is the equivalent of adding over 100 cities the size of New Orleans to the national economy,” Brown said.
AASHTO’s president also urged consideration of a four-part freight strategy, which includes the development of a national multimodal strategic freight plan, funding for projects of national significance, funding for every state to help build a national freight network, and support for multicorridor organizations that cross state lines.
Brown also expressed his strong support for retaining the current federal-state partnership.
“What we have today is described in statute as a ’federally assisted, state-administered program.’ It is working and working well….But it would be a mistake to make changes which shift decision-making away from the states and back to Washington.”
For more information, visit www.AreWeThereYet.transportation.org.