U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the Department of Transportation will provide up to $17 billion in loans to assist critical infrastructure building projects.

LaHood is encouraging states and cities to send in letters of interest for the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program. TIFIA will provide direct loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit to fund major construction projects that are expected to create jobs and increase overall economic expansion.

“Americans have always done big things, not in spite of hard times but as a means of overcoming them,” LaHood said. “That’s why the Obama Administration is launching the largest infrastructure loan program in our history. These investments will help cities and states create jobs right away, building the big transportation projects we need to make sure our economy continues to grow and prosper.”

Protect transportation project workers from common construction accidents, including falls, electric shock, and being struck by heavy machinery, by providing appropriate safety products, including fall protection, hard hats, high-visibility safety vests, and work gloves.