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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Provide Critical Roadway Infrastructure in Newton, Texas Opportunity Zone

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to the Newton County, Texas, to rebuild a road critical to regional commerce that was damaged by Hurricane Harvey. The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, is expected to generate $5 million in private investment.

“The Trump Administration is working hard to fulfill our commitment to rebuild roads and other infrastructure in Texas and other areas that have been greatly impacted by natural disasters,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

This EDA investment supports the mitigation of the wash-out of the southernmost 1.4 miles of County Road 4123 (Old State Highway 87/Sand Pit Road) in Newton County. The road provides the only access to the main employer in the rural town of Deweyville and serves as a relief evacuation route. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by Deep East Texas Council of Governments. EDA funds Golden Crescent RPC to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap that strengthens the regional economy, supports private capital investment, and creates jobs.

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires, and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.

The funding announced today goes to a designated Opportunity Zone, created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Treasury Department resources page here. To learn more about the Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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