Press Releases

Highlight state’s booming population, growing tech and tourism industries, as drivers of need for enhanced and innovative transportation projects 

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, wrote to Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine Chao today to invite her to visit their home state to witness Nevada’s growing economy and population, and in turn, its increasing demand for transportation and infrastructure projects. In the letter, the senators highlighted Nevada’s position as the second-fastest growing state in the country, and the need to ensure the state’s infrastructure can accommodate and support the growing transportation and economic demands.

Full text of the letter is below:

Dear Secretary Chao:

As members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, we are proud to represent Nevada, which is home to some of the most diverse communities, landscapes, and attractions that have made our state a premier travel destination, a hub for technological innovation and start-ups, and the second-fastest growing state in the nation in terms of population.  We believe Nevada’s growth and potential must be matched with a safe, reliable, and efficient transportation system, which is why we would like to invite you to come visit the Silver State to learn more about our communities and the transportation challenges Nevada is facing. Traveling to Nevada will allow you to experience first-hand the transportation projects that seek to both effectively manage our state’s growth, as well as efficiently move our people, visitors, and commerce throughout the state.

First and foremost, Nevada is home to exciting tourism destinations – including, Lake Tahoe, Red Rock Canyon, the Las Vegas Strip, and our rural areas that offer western charm – that bring in over 40 million visitors each year.  That number is expected to continue growing as Nevada welcomes the Las Vegas Raiders football team and as Northern Nevada’s technological boom continues. Given the number of visitors we receive annually, maintaining modern, efficient infrastructure across the state is critical to ensuring Nevada’s continued growth, accessibility, and economic development.

Nevada is also comprised of fast-growing, innovative communities that are preparing for a future where a diverse economy will provide security, stability, and prosperity for generations to come.  As one of the nationally designated Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) test sites, Nevada is leading the way in UAS research and development that will draw in more start-ups and technology companies, and our state has positioned itself for testing of autonomous vehicles. Northern Nevada has attracted some of the biggest names in technology, including Switch, Tesla, Google, EBay, and more that will drive additional growth that requires reliable transportation options.

Nevada’s forward-thinking vision does not come without challenges, which is again why we encourage you to visit our state to examine the transportation issues that we face, and the priorities that we seek to work alongside you and your Department to address.  During your confirmation process through our committee, we both enjoyed sitting down with you individually to discuss Nevada’s priorities and working in a bipartisan fashion to pass your appointment as the 18th Secretary of Transportation. 

We look forward to continuing our work together to consider expanding transportation innovation and infrastructure improvements in Nevada and welcome you to visit the Silver State.






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