ICYMI: U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg Tours Infrastructure Projects in Western Montana, Meets with Students, Workers, and Tribal Leaders

WASHINGTON – As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing Investing in America Tour, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg traveled to Western Montana to see progress on transportation and infrastructure projects that are underway thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. During his time in Montana, Secretary Buttigieg spoke with local, state, and Tribal leaders and heard about needs in their communities and visited with students and apprentices at the University of Montana.

Secretary Buttigieg began his trip to Montana with a visit to the Missoula airport. The airport is receiving unprecedented federal funding from the Biden-Harris Administration to construct a new terminal that will increase its capacity and allow more flight options. 

Secretary Buttigieg hears from Deputy Airport Director Tim Damrow about progress on Missoula’s expansion project

After his visit to the airport, Secretary Buttigieg toured the University of Montana’s Missoula College Construction Trades and Technology Program to visit with apprentices and members of the Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers. At the college, he heard about the increase in jobs in the trades available to apprentices thanks to an increase in construction work spurred by the President’s Infrastructure Law. 

Sec. Buttigieg in a workshop with student at Missoula College
A student at Missoula College shows Secretary Buttigieg her work
Sec. Buttigieg speaking with instructor at Missoula College
Secretary Buttigieg speaks with an instructor at Missoula College

Secretary Buttigieg began his second day in Montana by having a coffee with Missoula Mayor Andrea Davis, where the Secretary to hear about the Mayor’s transportation and infrastructure goals. 

Sec. Buttigieg and Mayor Davis chatting over coffee
Secretary Buttigieg and Mayor Davis chat over coffee at Clyde Coffee

The Secretary then traveled to the Flathead Reservation where he took part in a roundtable discussion with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. During this roundtable, the Secretary heard about the transportation challenges and goals that the Tribe has and discussed progress on several grants awards that have been awarded to from DOT to make U.S. 93 safer. 

Sec. Buttigieg at round table with CSKT leaders
Secretary Buttigieg participates in a roundtable with CSKT leaders

To close out his time in Montana, Secretary Buttigieg visited a wildlife crossing on U.S. 93 to highlight funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law going to make the transportation corridor safer for everyone. Secretary Buttigieg saw the impact of a wildlife crossing before hosting a news conference to highlight his department’s work to address roadway deaths in rural and Tribal communities.

Sec. Buttigieg hears about impact of wildlife crossing project
Secretary Buttigieg hears about the impact of the wildlife crossing project

See below to see what they’re saying about Secretary Buttigieg’s visit:

Missoula Current: Secretary Buttigieg Lauds Missoula Airport, Infrastructure Funding 
“This would not be possible without the help of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said airport director Brian Ellestad. “These infrastructure improvements are helping the airport expand and meet the demands of the community, and offer greater, more affordable air travel options and increase connectivity.” 

Missoulian: US Transportation Secretary touts federal investment during Missoula visit 
“All together we’ve given out over $2.4 billion to modernize transportation across Montana,” Buttigieg said. “It’s a level of financial support from the federal government that we haven’t seen in my lifetime, and it’s sorely needed. The decades-long mismatch between the change and growth in communities over time, on one hand, and the lack of federal infrastructure investment, on the other hand, is something that was felt all across the country.” 

Missoula Current: Federal Transportation Grants ‘Transformative’ For Missoula 
“If you think about the way our communities have been built out and grown over decades, we now have these serious pinch points with railroad and highway and real safety concerns,” she said. “Federal dollars that do these transformative projects really add to the quality of life for all Missoulians,” said Mayor Andrea Davis 

KTVQ (Missoula): US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visits Missoula airport 
“When we hear a project happening under budget, that means those tax dollars are being more efficiently spent,” Secretary Buttigieg said. “And look, even with historic funding levels, we need to get the most out of every penny of those taxpayer dollars because there’s always more demand than we have funding.”

“You know a real focus of ours in this Bipartisan Infrastructure package is to make sure it reaches every community, to a New Yorker and LA, to a place like where I grew up in Indiana, to places like Missoula.” 

Montana Free Press: Buttigieg heralds infrastructure bill, expansion of Missoula airport 
The project’s second phase will expand the baggage claim, add a rental car center and four more gates, he said. The third phase will convert one ground boarding gate to a jet bridge, Airport Director Brian Ellestad added. 

Video: Montana Right Now-ABC/FOX: Pete Buttigieg visits Missoula Airport 

Daily Montanan: Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg visits Montana, celebrates infrastructure investments

NBC Montana (Missoula): Buttigieg, CSKT discuss Highway 93 improvements after infrastructure grant
“We’ve heard far too many cases where people walking basically right up against the highway and lost their lives or been injured, and we know that the best design solution is to make sure that there’s protected and separated, that’s part of the scope for this project,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. 

8 KPAX (Missoula): Buttigieg discusses funding for Highway 93 improvements on Flathead Indian Reservation 
“We’re proud to team up, with the Tribe and these communities, to bring the resources that are going to help save lives and make everyday life a little bit easier,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. 

Missoulian: ‘Safer and better’: Secretary Pete Buttigieg announces improvements to Hwy. 93 
The funding will be used to reshape slopes, improve road surfaces and build paths, bridges and culverts to protect people and animals. The legislation, he added, also marks the first federal investment in wildlife crossings. Bottom line, this is going to be a safer and better road for everybody who counts on it, Buttigieg said.

KGVO-AM News (Missoula): Exclusive Interview With Secretary Buttigieg In Montana 
“Everything we’re doing is going to make a difference in day-to-day life,” he said. “The Safe Streets for All Grant that we’re working with Missoula and funding to connect East Missoula even though it’s only three miles away, is really cut off by the way that the highways run,” Secretary Buttigieg said. 

###

Official news published at https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/icymi-us-transportation-secretary-pete-buttigieg-tours-infrastructure-projects

Global Media Coverage