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TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY SLATER LAUNCHES NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION WEEK BY CELEBRATING PROGRESS OF INTERSTATE 15

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Rodney E. Slater, Interstate Highway System

TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY SLATER LAUNCHES NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION WEEK BY CELEBRATING PROGRESS OF INTERSTATE 15

U.S. Department of Transportation
May 11, 1998

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 11, 1998
Contact: Ben Langer
Tel.: 202-366-5580
DOT 96-98

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today launched National Transportation Week by joining community leaders in celebrating the midpoint of construction on a major California highway that by design will minimize the impact on the surrounding community.

"The design of this project on Interstate 15 ties the community together, protects the environment and will help reduce congestion," Secretary Slater said. "One of my top priorities this week will be to highlight projects which protect and enhance communities affected by transportation."

President Clinton proclaimed the week of May 10-16, 1998, as National Transportation Week and declared it an occasion to recognize individuals and organizations that build, operate, safeguard and maintain the nation’s transportation system.

Secretary Slater cited the new 2.2-mile section of Interstate 15 in San Diego as an example of highway design that responds to community concerns. A portion of the freeway project lies 25 feet underground with three bridges at ground level to allow traffic to cross at about the same elevation as city streets. Additionally, a block of the freeway is covered and serves as a park, and land has been set aside for parks at both ends of the 2.2-mile stretch.

U.S. Rep. Bob Filner, 50th District, California, and San Diego Councilmember Christine Kehoe joined Secretary Slater in touring the construction site.

"I am pleased that we have been able to accelerate construction to complete this highway as quickly as possible and in a way which honors the integrity of this community," Filner said.

Councilmember Kehoe said, "We fought hard for bridges, parks and other enhancements that benefit the community. This design succeeds and San Diego will be better for it."

The new section of Interstate 15 is expected to cost $150.8 million, and the federal contribution will be $130.4 million. An additional $5 million in federal grants have made it possible to widen bridge sidewalks and otherwise improve the appearance of the bridges. All traffic on the new section is expected to be below ground by 1999 and all eight lanes are expected to be open by the year 2000.

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