Summer goes faster than any other season. There are fun things like vacations, pool parties, and baseball. And there are work things like meetings (we had a great Mid-year Review), Legislative meetings (the Secretary laid out the critical funding issues facing the Transportation Cabinet during the Interim Joint Transportation Meeting), and KBT Committee meetings like the Waterways and Highway Committee meetings we held earlier this month (which are fun too).
And that's a lot of travel.
I've been to Henderson to Frankfort to Lexington (where I am this morning with the County Judge Executives and the Magistrates) to Florida on a much needed vacation. There's been a lot of windshield time during the month of June.
But there's one trip that stands out this month. Earlier this week I went to Washington DC to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Travel and Tourism Infrastructure or NACTTI.
NACTTI was created by the FAST Act to "provide information, advice, and recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation, based on current transportation data on current and emerging priorities, issues, projects, and funding needs related to use of the nation's intermodal transportation network to facilitate travel and tourism."
How did I get this role?
I volunteered when the group was formed in 2016, and was finally appointed two months ago.
I am excited to work with such an amazing group of people to meet the challenge set before us earlier this week.
I am also honored that Ms. Elaine Chao, Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation felt that I deserved a seat at this table.
But my appointment pales in comparison to the other announcement made by Secretary Chao this month. On June 8, Secretary Chao announced that Kentucky would receive an INFRA grant in the amount of $67.5 million to make improvements on the I71/I75 interchange in Northern Kentucky.
The interchange is one of the most heavily traveled and congested freight corridors in Kentucky - and I'd be willing to be it is one of the most heavily traveled corridors when it comes to tourism and leisure travel as well. This funding will facilitate better access for the people and the freight that move within the immediate area and throughout the heartland of our country.
This is a phenomenal grant award for our state - and we appreciate it greatly. But there is more work to do. The area - and all the people and companies within the area - still need a new bridge. And we still have to match the grant - which means some other projects may not be funded in the short term.
But this month - let's focus on the fact that an additional $67.5 million is coming our way to improve our state.
Thank you Secretary Chao - for everything you do.