U.S. Congressman Ted Poe will hold a press conference today to announce over $10 million in earmarks he obtained for Jefferson County as part of H.R. 3, the Transportation Bill (the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act - A Legacy for Users or SAFETEA-LU).

This six-year bill provides $286 billion for the federal highway, transit and highway safety programs throughout the United States. The money obtained for Jefferson County will be used for intermodal projects at the Port of Beaumont and the Sabine Neches Waterway, to extend and widen Jefferson County roads and to create streetscape improvements throughout the county.

The funding was approved for use for the following projects:

Port of Beaumont Intermodal Improvements $5,190,400
Funding will improve access and operational capabilities for the Port of Beaumont including surface transportation infrastructure modifications to facilitate direct intermodal interchange, transfer, and access into and out of the port.

Dowlen Road Extension $2,764,800
The city will receive assistance to extend Dowlen Road in Beaumont from U.S. 90 (College Street) to Walden Road to be comprised of a four-lane divided road with left turn lanes at intersections. Upon completion, this will provide an additional corridor between the north and south sides of the city and is expected to reduce congestion. It will also provide increased access to over 630 acres of commercial, industrial and residential properties.

Washington Boulevard Widening $2,080,000
Funding will widen Washington Boulevard in Beaumont from Langhan Road to FM 364 (Major Drive) to a four lane street with a continuous left turn lane. The project will provide an east/west corridor through the southeast and southwest areas of Beaumont from Spur 380 to FM 364 (Major Drive). The widening will result in a four-lane facility that will improve access to industrial and commercial areas on the east and west side of the city.

Willow Street Improvements $512,000
Improvements include the installation of brick-paved sidewalks, decorative lighting, new traffic signal poles, street and informational signing and the rehabilitation of the streets, curbs and gutters.

Orange County Access Road $1,056,000
Port of Beaumont East Bank Neches to I-10 Access Road $1,440,000
Assistance will go toward development and construction of both access roads connecting the I-10 access road to the Port of Beaumont owned property along the east bank of the Neches River in Orange County.

Congressman Poe (who serves on the Transportation Committee and co-sponsored H.R. 3) worked with members of the Texas delegation to ensure that Beaumont received money for high priority projects including new roads, better bridges, and streetscape improvements. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bill by a vote of 417-9 in March and the Bill is expected to be signed by the President next week.