By Keith Laing - 07/26/12 07:41 PM EDT
LaHood said under his leadership, the DOT "takes its commitment to our ports seriously."
"During the past three years and four rounds of [Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery] grants, DOT has awarded $353 million to 25 different port-related infrastructure projects," he said.
"In addition to expediting these projects, the administration is also establishing a White House-led task force of senior officials from various White House offices and federal agencies," LaHood also said. "This task force will develop a federal strategy for future port and related infrastructure investments. America’s marine transportation system is a crucial part of our economy, and this administration has made a consistent effort from its earliest days to make our ports the best in the world."
The White House said at the time of the initial announcement that the ports — along with building an inter-modal container facility for cargo shipping in Jacksonville and increasing the height of a bridge between New York and New Jersey -- would be the first of 43 projects that will ultimately be expedited by Obama.
The expedited expansion projects are scheduled to be completed between 2012