States have put the brakes on millions of dollars of highway construction projects and are scrambling to substitute scarce state funds for the federal funds that have been cut off due to the crisis in the Highway Trust Fund.
John Horsley, AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) Executive Director, said, “States are suspending new contract awards, halting right-of-way acquisition and looking for ways to stop on-going construction while maintaining public safety.” Horsley added, “It is truly a crisis that Congress must resolve immediately because the federal IOUs are piling up and the states’ financial hole gets deeper everyday.”
US Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters announced that the federal government would slow down reimbursements to the states, and would likely be able to make only partial payments, due to insufficient funds in the Highway Trust Fund. She has urged Congress to enact an $8 billion transfer from the General Fund to preserve the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. Action is pending in the Senate.
More than a dozen states including Alabama, California, Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington have detailed the impacts of the federal shortfall on state programs, either in news releases or via media reports.
AASHTO is the “Voice of Transportation” representing state departments of transportation in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. AASHTO is a non-profit, non-partisan association.