Buttigieg talks roads and safety with truck drivers in Salem

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Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 8:45 PM CDT
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SALEM, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited Salem on Tuesday to talk with truck drivers about ongoing improvements in the industry.

Buttigieg wished those in attendance a happy Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

“My basic to the American people is if you enjoy the food you ate for breakfast, the clothes you’re wearing right now, or whatever device you’re using to watch these words being spoken, you have truck drivers to thank for that gift,” said Buttigieg.

During his speech, Buttigieg addressed a letter he had received about the urgent need for more and better truck parking, and celebrated projects that expand truck parking.

Improving things like roads and truck parking not only helps drivers, but every one at home as it will strengthen supply chains.

Truck drivers said the changes help their equipment and their safety.

“There’s a lot of benefits to it. a tire wear, damage to trucks. you know with better roads it would decrease you would have better DOT inspections. and you know things like that. we got to do everyday,” said truck driver James Baublitz.

Buttigieg also spoke on I-90, and how the South Dakota Department of Transportation was granted $61.6 million to restore 28 miles of the roadway in 2021.

Secretary Buttigieg also stopped by Dakota News Now to discuss infrastructure projects in South Dakota and what could be on the horizon. That conversation will be featured on Matters of the State at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Sunday.