Officials hit road to tout construction

June 17, 2010 at 3:54 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 17 (UPI) -- The Obama administration started an effort Thursday to ballyhoo the taxpayer-fueled infrastructure projects meant to jump start the economic recovery.

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other officials will be attending groundbreakings and other events this summer to draw attention to the federal spending the administration is counting on to prime the job-creating pump needed to pull the country out of its worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the White House said in a release.

Obama heads to downtown Columbus, Ohio, Friday to participate in the groundbreaking for a road improvement project that will mean 300 construction jobs.

The White House said this summer and fall will see a more intense flurry of infrastructure projects than 2009 when it says tens of thousands of projects put about 2.5 million Americans to work.

The administration said there will be 10,000 highway projects under way next month, compared with 1,750 in July 2009.

There also will be 2,800 water cleanup and drinking water projects this summer, up from only about 100 last year, and 82,000 homes will be weatherized compared with 3,000 a year ago.

The nation's parks also will get spruced up with nearly 800 projects slated to be completed this summer, an eight-fold increase over 2009, the White House said

The administration is trying to reach its goal of 3.5 million jobs created under the Recovery Act by the end of the year.

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