The reconstruction effort drew widespread praise. At a meeting of state transportation officials, President Donald Trump singled out GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry for the agency's quick response – made possible by millions of dollars in federal funding. Chao who visited Atlanta herself shortly after the bridge reopened, also praised the quick reconstruction.
On Wednesday, she thanked departing MARTA CEO Keith Parker for the agency's effort to accommodate new passengers who gave transit a shot as Atlanta highways became a commuting nightmare during the I-85 reconstruction.
“Keith Parker and his department gave Atlantans an option to move at a time when that critical artery, I-85, wasn’t available,” Chao said.
The transportation secretary spoke to several hundred people attending an American Public Transportation Association conference. She also touted Trump's plan to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure over the next 10 years. That plan has taken a back seat to other administration priorities in recent months, including health care and tax reform.
The president’s proposed 2018 budget proposed steep cuts for some transit programs that metro Atlanta officials are counting on for future MARTA and other transit expansions across the region. Congress ultimately will write and approve a budget.
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