ICYMI: Secretary Buttigieg Surveys Flood Damage in Vermont, Travels to Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Celebrate Infrastructure Investments

USDOT
5 min readJul 21, 2023

Secretary Buttigieg visited sites in Hardwick, VT, that were hard-hit by recent extreme weather, and highlighted recent investments in infrastructure and economic opportunity in Wheeling, WV, and Pittsburgh, PA, as part of President Biden’s Investing in America tour.

Washington, DC — This week, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg traveled to Vermont, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania where he surveyed damage from recent flooding in the town of Hardwick, VT, saw progress in Wheeling, WV, to revitalize the downtown area with infrastructure improvements, and joined First Lady Jill Biden and Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su in Pittsburgh to celebrate the construction of a new terminal at the Pittsburgh airport and investments in the area’s workforce.

Secretary Buttigieg looks at flood damage in Vermont.

In Vermont, Secretary Buttigieg, along with Governor Phil Scott, Senator Peter Welch, and Congresswoman Becca Balint, met with first responders at the State Emergency Operations Center and emphasized that the Federal government stands ready to support the state’s recovery efforts in any way possible.

Secretary Buttigieg delivers remarks at the SEOC.

In Wheeling, the Secretary continued President Biden’s Investing in America Tour with a visit to the city’s downtown area — where a $16.2 million grant from USDOT is being used to upgrade the community’s infrastructure, spur economic development to its Main Street corridor, and make it easier and safer for pedestrians and underserved residents to access destinations and jobs in the area.

Secretary Buttigieg examines the Wheeling Streetscape Project plans.

And in Pittsburgh, the Secretary joined First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su to highlight a $20 million grant from USDOT that is supporting the construction of a new terminal at Pittsburgh International Airport.

Secretary Buttigieg delivers remarks at Pittsburgh International Airport.

Selected Media Coverage from the Secretary’s Travel:

Vermont:

Bennington Banner: ‘We will have your backs:’ Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visits Vermont

“As Vermont moves from the mode of immediate response to long-term recovery and begins the hard work of rebuilding from this disaster, I want to emphasize that the entire federal government, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, stands ready to continue to assist any way we can,” [Secretary Buttigieg] said.

Vermont Public Radio: U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visits Vermont to view damage from flooding

“When you see that hotel in Hardwick that was cut in half and carried down the river,” Buttigieg said, “when you see the railroad tracks coming out of Barre, where the track is still there but the ties are gone and you know a train won’t be able to run over that, you see how urgent it is that these communities get the help that they need.”

NBC5 (Burlington, VT): Vermont flooding: Phil Scott, Pete Buttigieg discuss federal disaster recovery

Between last week’s flood and tropical storm Irene, Secretary Buttigieg said Vermont has seen two “once-in-a-century storms” in the span of 12 years.

The concern is climate change could make these types of storms more common.

“We can’t go into the future requiring communities to put everything exactly the way it was if a ‘100-year flood’ is going to be an annual event,” said Buttigieg.

West Virginia:

WTRF-CBS (Wheeling, WV): “A proud community:” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visits Wheeling, tours downtown Streetscape Project

“This administration will serve every kind of community. President Biden has been very focused on making sure small towns, rural counties and big cities alike see the benefit of this infrastructure.” — Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Secretary Of Transportation

West Virginia Metro News: Buttigieg gets up close look at Wheeling streetscape project

“This is what President Biden’s vision of investing in America looks like in practice, making sure that we support public investments, like what the City of Wheeling is doing in its downtown, and seeing private investment respond,” Buttigieg said.

The Intelligencer: Wheeling News Register: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg: Wheeling a City ‘on the Way Up’

WTOV-FOX/NBC (Steubenville, OH): Transportation secretary Buttigieg tours Wheeling, expresses optimism for city’s future | Buttigieg offers encouragement to Wheeling businesses amid Streetscape project challenges

West Virginia PBS: Buttigieg Tours Fed-Funded Wheeling Main Street Project — West Virginia Public Broadcasting

“Look, this is a community that reminds me of my own hometown, which is a place that saw its population peak in the 1960s,” Buttigieg said. “And when I was mayor, we fought hard to come back and to grow again. And I see that same kind of aspiration and that same kind of success building here. But it can’t happen unless you have the right kind of infrastructure. And sometimes taking care of the basics, streets, the sewers, the sidewalks, is the best thing you can do to make sure those businesses have a shot, too.”

Pennsylvania:

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Jill Biden lauded her husband for ‘strengthening communities like Pittsburgh’ in a visit to the area

“Today we’re seeing what that [investment] looks like in real life,” Mrs. Biden said. “Here, that means thousands of jobs strengthening and rebuilding Pennsylvania’s infrastructure, including modernizing the Pittsburgh airport.”

Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Jill Biden touts ‘Bidenomics’ in Pittsburgh stop

“The $20 million federal investment in modernizing this terminal is going to generate $2.5 billion in economic activity, using made-in-America steel,” Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su told the gathering.

CBS Pittsburgh: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su focus on Pittsburgh’s role as workplace hub and green jobs of future

WPXI-TV (Pittsburgh, PA): First Lady Jill Biden stops in Pittsburgh to discuss Bidenomics, infrastructure

WESA NPR News Pittsburgh: In Pittsburgh visit, First Lady says White House kept promises on infrastructure, equity

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