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Sec. Foxx: Jacksonville Bridge Highlights Need For Long-Term Infrastructure Spending

Jessica Palombo

U.S. roads and bridges aren’t getting enough maintenance to keep drivers safe. That was the message the U.S. Transportation Secretary delivered in Jacksonville today. Secretary Anthony Foxx says the solution is a proposed spending bill called the Grow America Act.

Cars whizzed by overhead on I-95 in Downtown Jacksonville Tuesday afternoon. The highway is being expanded here as part of the Overland Bridge project, in part with federal money. Built in 1959, this bridge is rated structurally deficient. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says it represents America’s infrastructure problems and the need for more federal spending.

“Just a couple of summers ago, a piece of concrete tumbled down from the Overland Bridge underpass, leaving behind a gaping hole in its center lane," Foxx said. 

The Grow America Act, as proposed by President Barack Obama, would dedicate $478 billion to road and bridge projects over six years. Foxx says it’s a better solution than the short-term spending bills Congress has passed in recent years. With long-range planning, he says much-needed repairs would be streamlined. 

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP