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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 26, 2009 1:30am-2:00am EDT

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states for hwy investments. within hours of the announcement, we began to approve projects. as of yesterday, our offices have authorized more than 5000 projects in all 50 states, d.c., and the territories for a total of $15.7 billion which represents 59% of total funds available. i am proud to say that this would not have happened without the strong commitment of our employees. they have worked hard for many months, even before the act was passed, to ensure that we would be ready to implement the legislation swiftly and efficiently. congress emphasized the need to rapidly in tuesday's funds into the economy, requiring that 50% of the funds must be obligated under a project agreement by june 29. i am very pleased to report that
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all states have met the target at least 10 days in advance of the deadline that the administration will announce today. products are running ahead of schedule and under budget. by stretching recovery dollars, states are able to complete additional projects and create even more jobs. project approvals are only part of the story. we need to get projects under way to put people back to work. as of june 19, there are more than 1500 highway projects underway in 45 states, d.c., and on federal lands, utilizing more than $5 billion in recovery act funds. we estimate that these projects alone will yield over 50,000 job years. we are distributing $50 million for roads and -- for federal rolroads and tribal lands. we have projects such as the reconstruction in the montana
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glacier national park. the recovery act is working for america. every new project we obligate is a signal for states to advertise contracts and for contractors to begin hiring workers and ordering materials like steel, asphalt, and concrete. they're making investments that will save lives. they're creating a highway system that will operate more efficiently and effectively. it is not only important to get the money out quickly. we must get it out in the right way. the agency continues to focus on reporting and management of the risks associated with such a large investment dawdles -- with such large investment dollars. we have move forward aggressively to fulfill the president's commitment to transparency and accountability.
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we are providing detailed reports through recovery doc.go. we are monitoring progress and risks by analyzing data we have received to identify trends, problem areas, and making real time corrections as needed. successful deployment of highway dollars under the recovery act will remain a top priority as we continue to work to deliver funds and get america's economy moving again mr. chairman, this concludes my remarks. i would be happy to answer your questions. >> thank you very much for the wealth of detail. i appreciate your presentation. now, mr. boardman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for the invitation to
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testify before the committee. work is underway, not only in the last task of oversight, but also in internal and external products that will modernize and transform the amtrak system. we have been working with the federal railroad in a station. they have approved about 90% of the products of our $1.3 billion slate. about 10% of the total is yet unapproved as those are security and safety products that also require the approval of the department of homeland security. we have awarded about $41 million. i expect our expand rate will increase in the coming months. we are preparing for that. we know this is a complex and challenging process. i am convinced that the are f5 and -- at the end rfi and rfe
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systems busy fishing. we are soliciting letters of interest from contractors. many proposals include tunnel safety issues in new york that we discussed in april. among them are improvements to the standpipe systems in the tunnels. since april 29, work has advanced on two of the major projects we discussed last time around, the wilmington and the standard stations. we broke ground at sanford about two weeks after the last hearing. projects of that can be advanced with our own work force are
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another area we are making real progress in. we have added 222 employees to deal with related extension and right of way work. this will include improvements such as a bit and danish -- such as a ditch and drainage improvements. we are making good progress on $100 million equipment plan. we do most of this work in house with an amtrak work force. we have also existing agreements and inventory levels for parts. sometimes it is contingent on the ability of suppliers to get its components. but we are moving ahead. there are 108 employees in
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indiana, and i expect the work force at least two facilities for returning the first of the amtrak fleet cars on the first of july. at the end of july, we intend to award the contract for a team of regional project managers who will manage a slate of three in 94 projects for the total dollar value -- slate of 394 projects for the total dollar value of -- they will be excellent candidates for small business set-asides. the original project managers will oversee this effort and the expectation is that they will see the goals of expanding our outreach. we have built a procurement web site. we advertised stimulus project opportunities. some of the $1.3 billion of that
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amtrak is investing will provide critical groundwork for the development of high-speed rail. the $10 million we are investing in positive train control on their mission in line, there are a couple of quarters that are ready to go. congress has challenged us to not only get the work done, but to produce measurable results. we will do our part to dance it. nobody out there knows as much about making high-speed service area late in north american conditions than we do. i think the men and women of amtrak have earned the chance we now have. it is the chance to bring the next big improvement in real service. i learned on my recent 9,000 miles trip on amtrak trains that amtrak is unique. we are both the company and a mood of travel. -- we are both a company and a mode of travel.
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we are willing to go a long way to help out in rehabilitating stations and to help troubles. as enthusiastic as the people have train service are, i found that the people who do not have trained service but wanted are more enthusiastic and helpful. they are tireless advocates and they are a real inspiration. the transformational vision for passenger transportation in the u.s. takes teamwork and focus from all. we pledged to work with all who want to improve passenger rail and we think this committee for their support. >> thank you very much. that is a very encouraging report as well. certainly, there is a great deal of progress being made. he laid out an excellent agenda of actions already taken, those that are under way.
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i am glad that you have the ground breaking for the autumn train terminal. some 20 + years ago, my late wife and nine, our children took that trip -- my late wife and i and our children took that trip. we took the auto train to florida. it is quite an impressive experience. uc cars rolling off the trains. you can predict you see cars rolling off the trains. you get out and travel to your next destination. it has been so successful, that it needs renovation. thank you for participating in that event. you mentioned a positive train control, investing $10 million. that is under the recovery act money? >> yes, sir. >> could you list for us the
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company or companies that are producing the pt septc technolod how many jobs are created by that work. >> the total amount that we put this together, it would be 146 jobs in the first year. but that second year, it would be 8000 jobs. i do not have a broken down that way today. on the positive train control, we are doing in number of things. we are extending our access system, which is the enforcement train controls that exist already in the northeast quarter. we are extending our itcs structure, consistent with illinois and lockheed martin.
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the platform that will be the gps space, there are a couple of different suppliers. one of them is wedtech. we are working with them to make sure we have entered- inoperability with them and us. >> -- that we have inter- operability. >> it is important to follow the supply chain from the job site. those are jobs that did not exist either. >> yes, sir. >> that is before this recovery funded aid. i recall so well, just a month after the president signed the recovery act, a young civil engineer in my hometown had moved away, got his degree in engineering, and found work with
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civil engineering companies doing highway design work. he came into the office to see me and said, i want to thank you, the congress, and the president because i am back at work. i had been working for a year with this company but was laid off when the recession took hold. before any projects were under way, the company called me back saying, we know we will have a number of projects to bid on and we need to put you to work. it just turned out that he had a week's vacation coming after getting back on the job. he took his way to washington. but that is happening all over the country. i want those jobs accounted for as well. >> yes, sir. >> i know you will do that.
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this is what i was talking about. this is a flash drive. it is a computer device. it is about the size of my thumb. it fits into your computer. i will not bore everybody by calling it up on the screen, but this is what it produces. this is what the state of minnesota uses in the field. the county engineers gather information, enters it in the computer, send it into the state dot instantaneously, and the state dot then sends the information each month into the u.s. dot and hwy committee. here it is, pages and pages of documentation. these are projects in
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construction, product status, project planning, and their location, county state rose, county state 10, and what is underway at the time. so i hear complaints that there is such a burden of paperwork compared i want to repeat it. i have no -- the paperwork. i want to repeat it. i have no patience for those who have been given hundreds of millions of dollars, federal funding, to put people to work and then they complain about paperwork. baloney. this is electronic. those complainers need to get a number to shovel and get a callus on their hand. i have no patience for that at all. just briefly, it was described,
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step by step, the process from notification from the office of management and budget to duty, from dot to the federal transmittransit administration. you describe a part of the process. the l.a. occurs -- the alkylate occurs when money is transferred -- the outlay occurs when the money is transferred. but the process is already started. i want you to walk us through the procedure that is followed. step one. >> specifically, for a vehicle purchase, since i focus on that instance, a grantee will come forward, dallas --, being? >> -- kellog's --
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>> being? >> a transit agency. -- a grantee will come forward, tell us -- >> being? >> a transit agency. we have done automated team's system. is a computerized system in the grantee's communicate with us through that system. >> in the transit agency has in effect received the funds. >> they have a green light to sign a contract. >> yes, ok. >> they signed a contract on behalf of their agency or, in some areas, they might team with other agencies and reach a
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contract with that bus provider. that bus provider goes about the vastness -- about the business of creating the buses. we do not want to pay them. they take delivery of the bus. only when they take delivery of that bus and pay the contractor, only then does it come through to our system and we alkylate it -- and we outlay it. i think that, in his instance, it is even more notable. his program, as you pointed out in your opening statement, is done on reimbursement. the outlay actually occurs at the very end of the construction process. i will let him speak to that.
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>> we will come to that in a moment. i want to withhold my further questions at this point. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you for holding this hearing. thank you for the work you're doing. mr. babbitt, congratulations on your confirmation. i look forward to meeting with you in the near future and working with you very closely with our faa technical center. i have a question for you, mr. babbitt. you talked about two hundred million dollars in the fnf &e account.
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would you be able to let us know who is on that list? i would be curious to see who would be receiving the funding of course, i have an interest in a technical center at the atlantic city airport. i am very fond of saying that it is a premier facility in the world for aviation research and development for safety and security. i am curious as to whether they might be in line for any rehabilitation funding for the lab or any other facilities there. >> first, figure for the congratulations. i look forward to working with you as well. candidly, i do not know the specific breakdown. but i certainly can get that information to you. i have recently visited one of our technical centers. we will be calling on them for some of the advance as we are making right now. we have a lot of new technology that we are trying to deploy.
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the technical center is the birthplace of much of that technology. so i share your view. i will certainly give you that information. >> i shipped -- i appreciate you getting back to me. >> we will now go to mr. defazio. >> mr. chairman, i do have questions, but since the chair will be leaving a little bit, i will defer to other members. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for holding this hearing. i voted for the stimulus and i think that the accountability is a major part to move forward with other transportation bills. i have a question for mr. boardman. mr. boardman, i want to thank you for the leadership provided in amtrak. certainly, i was at the announcement when we announced
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the stanford project and the willmington project. i think that came to a total of $25 million. to date, we have announced a total of $41 million. my question is -- we have another $60 million in that pot and we have another 190 projects. for eight years, we struggled with zero funding. now we finally have the funds and i know you have to handle it in a proper manner. but can you tell us how contract does it help amtrak is being able to use the stimulus dollars -- but can you tell us how amtrak is being able to use the stimulus dollars? >> we are doing a lot of the work in-house. i reported a little while ago how many additional jobs we have supplied to our bare facility,
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our facility at the beach grove, indiana. that is about 108 jobs there. we started producing the cars out of there in mid-july. some of them are now charged back yet. so there are actually more dollars out there that are in the works, but people have not charged respect for the parts and so on and so forth. some of the big projects, like the nine antic bridge, we see about another $190 million worth of projects. at the same time, we have a lot of very small projects that need specific management. we have a list of those on our website. many of them have to do with stations and improvements to under 8ada.
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many of them will make it easier for our customers to use our service. you will see that rapidly in the next few months. >> beech grove station facility, if it were not for the chairman working with the members of that area, we are talking about major downsizing and sending people to delaware, now that we have the funds for fixing the facility, we did our job. i think that is the way it should work. >> yes, ma'am. >> thank you. >> mr. bozeman, it is your time. >> in your testimony, you said that the effort by of the states was proving to be a challenge. how will dot will insure -- how
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will the dot insure -- >> what we have done with the effort is that this is something that the state dot paws were not used to. in their first response to provide the certification, when we received those, we received a revised -- a variety of responses. there were contingencies and other things that we didn't feel complied with the law. we provided additional guidance to the to states. we received conforming certification back from all but one state. just recently, we should guidance to our state divisions to go sit down with each of the state dot's to review with the state how they'd refuted the
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numbers in the stratification, to make sure we are comfortable with the competition. -- with of the computation. -- with the computation. we want to be able to say whether a state has met their level of effort or not and whether they can share in the of this redistribution or not. >> i know that you are working very hard. you want to get the money out and make sure it is spent in the appropriate way. in my district, and in every member's district, every elected officials renown needs to think how can i create jobs and protect pension plans.
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in the commission that was done, where people worked so hard, the challenge was that they told us that the average road project was eight years to 10 years, something like that. i know that this is a tremendous challenge. you talk about creating -- you talked about creating or saving jobs. right now, the unemployment rate is creating a very serious situation. have you -- how you differentiate that? >> we are focused on getting people to work without really focusing on the differentiation in. we're focused on how many people are at work, literally, on highway projects. our most recent information, through may, it indicated that, in may, we had 6000 full-time equivalent jobs under way. that represented a 400% increase
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over the data of march and april. these provide $35 per hour average wage. the thing that really gives us comfort that a lot more are coming is that we have 1500 more projects under way. that is about a third of the money that has been obligated to date. that will create some 50,000 up -- some 50,000 jobs. that will increase as we get into the summer months and those projects wrap up as well. -- those projects ramp up as well. >> there were additional dollars provided for oversight. how is that going? >> we have begun deploying night.
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we have looked at several things. one is sophisticated ways that you can look at higher risk projects and analyze that risk for better oversight. that is where we put some of the money. mind standing is that we have about half of it engaged already. we are looking to deploy the rest of it. i can get you very detailed information on exact projects and exact allocations. >> that would be helpful. thank you mr. chairman. >> your question about jobs created and jobs saved, that is an accounting that we will specifically received in the next 30-day report. the top issue in the second report is the various model administrations will be able to report on the job fes


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