Department of Transportation invests $20 million into Orange County infrastructure

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced on Tuesday that Orlando has received a $20 million award for the Orange County Local Alternative Mobility Network Project.

This award is part of the Trump Administration's $900 million investment into American infrastructure through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis joined Chao on Tuesday in Orlando to discuss the award.

“The Administration is targeting BUILD Transportation grants to repair, rebuild, and revitalize significant infrastructure projects across the country,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

The Department of Transporation (DOT) says that BUILD Transportation grants aim to create a significant impact in communities that have been chosen on a competitive basis. The funds will go towards roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation.

“Florida knows firsthand the tremendous impact BUILD grants have in creating a modern, robust transportation system,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. “As Governor, I remain committed to ensuring Florida has a multimodal transportation system that reduces congestion and improves safety, while leveraging technology. Thank you, Secretary Chao, for continuing to support transportation in Florida, and throughout the country.”

“Today’s announcement is a perfect example of how partnerships at the local, state, and national levels bring tangible results to Florida’s growing and evolving communities,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. “As we prepare for Florida’s transportation future, these BUILD grants will certainly provide significant investment in our infrastructure and advance innovative multimodal initiatives across our state.

DOT said that the Orange County Local Alternative Mobility Network Project will support the planning, design, and construction of critical infrastructure. This is will include shared mobility lanes, dedicated rights of way, and recovery zones for user equipment repairs, rest, and hydration. It will also include upgrades to existing pedestrian and bicycle paths, naturally shaded and streetscaped environments, wayfinding, a transit hub, and autonomous vehicle infrastructure.

The project reportedly aims to reduce vehicle miles, injuries, and fatalities on roads through safer infrastructure and alternative transportation. It will also provide a new bridge dedicated to eliminating pedestrian, biker, and autonomous riders from crossing busy intersections, further improving safety.

The full news conference can be watched below.