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Transportation secretary helps kick off SW Moody Avenue extension

Update: LaHood calls Portland realization of Obama's vision

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood calls the transportation options coming together in South Waterfront the realization of President Obama's vision for America's future.

Speaking at a Tuesday morning ceremony to mark the federally-funded reconstruction of Southwest Moody Avenue, LaHood praised the mix of car, bus, streetcar, aerial tram and coming light rail transportation options in the growing neighborhood along the west bank of the Willamette River.

"President Obama's vision for winning the future by out-building and out-innovating the rest of the world is coming to life right here in Portland," LaHood said.

The project is funded in part with a $23.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly called the federal stimulus program. When it is completed, Moody will be rebuilt and elevated in portions to carry the Portland Streetcar and Portland to Milwaukie MAX light rail lines over a new Willamette River bridge.

Also appearing at the 9:30 a.m. event were Portland Mayor Sam Adams, U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, David Wu and Kurt Schrader and representatives from the Oregon Transportation Commission and the Oregon Health and Sciences University. They thanked LaHood for the grant, saying it will also support the redevelopment of adjacent brownfields, including the site of OHSU's coming satellite campus.

The project is paid for with federal, state and local dollars. For more information, check the website, www.swmoodyproject.com .