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Looming Highway Trust Fund Crisis: Impact on State Transportation Programs
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Looming Highway Trust Fund Crisis: Impact on State Transportation Programs
1. © 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. Looming Highway Trust Fund Crisis: Impact on State Transportation Programs The Congressional Budget Office is currently projecting that due to the latest in a series of revenue shortfalls since 2008, without remedial action the Highway Trust Fund will be unable to support any new spending on highway and public transportation improvements in FY 2015. Current federal investment in these programs exceeds $50 billion per year. Below are a series of news article excerpts of state officials describing how this threat would impact their transportation improvement efforts. Alaska: “Alaskans' notorious self-reliance doesn't extend to our roads, where we rely on the federal government to pay the bulk of the bills for constructing and reconstructing the highways and byways of the 49th state. That dependence could trigger disruptions in Alaska transportation projects. Due to gridlock in the U.S. Congress, funding for the highway trust fund is in jeopardy, threatening payments to states for an array of transportation projects.” “Alaska has budgeted for $1.2 billion in transportation capital projects in the next fiscal year, with more than 83 percent ($1 billion) funded by the feds.” “The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities bids out federally funded projects and then submits bills to the U.S. Department of Transportation as billable work is done and contractors are paid, said Jeff Ottesen, program development director for the state DOT. ‘If a project takes two or three years, we would not see the full amount of funds until the final month,’ he said. To minimize the amounts outstanding, Alaska submits bills to the feds every two or three days, he said. If the highway trust fund runs out of money, which it did briefly in 2011, those reimbursements may vanish, Ottesen said.” “‘We are receiving significantly more than we're putting into the trust fund, as far as the local fuel taxes Alaskans pay,’ said Rep. Sam Kito, D-Juneau, who is also a civil engineer and closely watches highway construction issues.
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. Alaska needs more roads than it has, but doesn't have a transportation fund of its own, Kito said. ‘Our biggest concern, as far as my mind goes, in Alaska is the fact that we do not have a robust, or even fledgling state transportation system, so most of our transportation funding is dependent on the (federal) highway trust fund,’ he said.” “Because the majority of Alaska's road construction work is done during the summer, Ottesen hopes much of it will be done and paid for before a crisis hits later in the year -- if indeed the fund is not renewed before then. But many final bills from summer construction could also wind up being submitted right when the feds run out of money.” “Ottesen said DOT is bracing for reimbursement shortfalls, where bills would only be paid at 95 percent of what was due on existing projects. The missing amount would be paid on the next billing cycle, but then that cycle's bills might only be paid at 90 percent. That could present a danger for projects slated for fiscal year 2015, he said. ‘This could dramatically reduce funds available for new project work, both design and construction,’ he said.” - Anchorage Daily News 6/22/14 (http://www.adn.com/2014/06/22/3529463/disruption-in-flow-of- alaskas.html) Arkansas: “Letters warning that federal funding would begin to dry up on Aug. 1 went to state officials this week, foreshadowing a period when money for bridge and highway projects may slow dramatically at the height of the construction season. Some states, fearful that Congress will fail them, already are planning cutbacks that may put tens of thousands of construction workers out of work. Arkansas, which counts on Washington for 70 percent of its road construction dollars, shelved 14 projects slated for this summer with a price tag of $70 million to $80 million. ‘We see this as a very real threat,’ said Randy Ort of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department. ‘I think some states are gambling that it’s not going to happen.’” - The Washington Post 7/2/14 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/countdown-to-a-shutdown-of-federal- transportation-funding/2014/07/02/8f6f313c-012a-11e4-8572-4b1b969b6322_story.html)
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. “The Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department says 20,000 construction jobs could be lost if the federal Highway Trust Fund isn't replenished later this summer. [Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department Director] Scott Bennett told members of the Arkansas State Highway Commission on Wednesday that several projects, including the Broadway Bridge replacement could be delayed due to uncertainty related to the fund. ‘Our concern is the highway trust fund is going in the tank, they're going to slow down the reimbursement back to the states,’ Bennett says.” “Bennett says even a few months delay in the Broadway Bridge plan has consequences AHTD wants to avoid. ‘It could lead us into having the Broadway Bridge and the I-30 corridor under construction at the same time,’ Bennett says.” - ArkansasMatters.com 6/4/14 (http://www.arkansasmatters.com/story/d/story/ahtd-highway-trust- fund-impasse-could-delay-broadw/35560/y8MzqcbpZE2V0JOoB2eANw) “The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) has withdrawn ten construction projects from its planned list of projects scheduled for award in April as a result of the uncertainty of Federal-aid reimbursements available from the Federal Highway Trust Fund. The United State Department of Transportation has projected that the Federal Highway Trust Fund will run short of funds as early as July of this year without Congressional action. Because of this uncertainty, the AHTD has evaluated State and Federal funding that will be available and reduced the number of construction projects planned because of the possible inability of the Federal Highway Trust Fund to provide timely and full reimbursements to Arkansas. The ten Federal-aid projects that have been pulled from the Department’s April bid letting total approximately $60 million and include:
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. ‘Based on our evaluation, if we execute all contracts that are scheduled for the April letting, the Department may not have adequate funds to ensure full payments to contractors during this period of reduced Federal reimbursements,’ states AHTD Director Scott Bennett.” “An evaluation of scheduled federally funded projects will occur prior to each Department letting until Congress acts to correct the funding shortfall. Letting dates in 2014 are scheduled for April 16, June 4, July 23, Sept. 17, Nov. 5 and Dec. 17.” - ArkansasMatters.com 3/19/14 (http://www.arkansasmatters.com/story/d/story/planned-ar-highway- projects-suspended-amid-funding/22549/mXTy2Jp9L02D0iO8qLpVfQ) Colorado: “State and local governments could take a big hit on federal funding for transportation and transit projects next year. The Colorado Department of Transportation's annual budget is $1.1 billion and about half that comes from federal funds. The Highway Trust Fund is running low meaning if congress isn't able to refill it, state and local governments could lose millions of dollars in funding. ‘That would be a very serious situation for Colorado and all of the states,’ Colorado Transportation Commission Chairman Doug Aden said. If the state loses its federal allocation, CDOT would essentially have to shut down it's entire construction division. Many projects that are already funded would be able to finish, but there would be no new construction contracts and several projects in the works would be delayed.” “A great majority of CDOT's projects are done by private contractors, all a part of an industry that is slowly recovering and still holds high unemployment rates. ‘Any slow down or stoppage in CDOT projects would have a devastating impact on the economy and on unemployment in the heavy construction industry,’ Aden said. State dollars would still be able to cover small maintenance projects and road surface treatment, but bigger projects like work on I-70 B would have to come to a halt.” “The deadline for action on this funding item is still a few months out. Congress has until this fall to make a decision. In the meantime emergency funds will be used to keep certain projects going for things like flood related road repairs.” - KJCT8.com 5/30/14 http://www.kjct8.com/news/regional/261330281.html)
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. “The Colorado Department of Transportation is banking on federal help to widen Interstate 25 to ease congestion between Denver and Fort Collins. But that and other future road, bridge and transit projects across Colorado may never get off the ground unless Congress finds a permanent fix for the perennial funding shortage plaguing the federal Highway Trust Fund, officials say. The fund — made up of federal gas taxes — is expected to run out of money by Oct. 1, when fiscal year 2015 begins, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. That could spell doom for plans to add a third lane to I-25 in the Front Range, which would cost $1 billion or more. ‘Without having the federal government as a partner, major projects like that are probably not going to get completed or get underway,’ said Kurt Morrison, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s federal liaison. ‘We don’t know how we’re going to fund that. ... Our budget is so strained.’” - coloradoan.com 3/39/14 (http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20140329/NEWS01/303290107?gcheck=1&nclick_check=1) Delaware: “Route 1 safety improvements from Lewes to Rehoboth may not happen if the federal government can't find a way to increase funding for its Highway Trust Fund, said U.S. Tom Carper. As a member of the U.S. Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee, Carper, a Democrat, said he is pleased the bipartisan committee voted in favor a six-year transportation bill May 15 that keeps federal spending on highways and mass transit at current levels. The problem is maintaining current spending requires a $20 billion increase in revenue.” “‘Our states and cities are counting on us to get the job done,’ said Carper standing in the Seaside Tanger Outlets parking lot in Rehoboth Beach May 19. ‘If we choose not to address the funding shortfall with a long-term solution, we will be undermining the ability of our states to do new multi-year projects that are important to local economies and private sector businesses.’” “Carper's staff provided a list of important Sussex County projects either under construction or ready for bid that would be at risk of losing out on millions of dollars of Fiscal Year 2015 federal funds if the transportation bill doesn't get passed. Carper staff said the progress on projects under construction could be halted and include the widening of Route 26 ($11.6 million at risk) and safety improvements along U.S. Route 9 ($4.2 million).
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. Projects ready to be bid that would not be able to move forward include Route 1 pedestrian improvements in Lewes and Rehoboth Beach ($7.4M); and improvements at the intersection of Plantations and Cedar Grove roads, and Postal Lane ($7.1M).” -CapeGazette.com 6/2/14 (http://capegazette.villagesoup.com/p/carper-calls-for-increase-to-federal- gas-tax/1189095) District of Columbia: “Letters warning that federal funding would begin to dry up on Aug. 1 went to state officials this week, foreshadowing a period when money for bridge and highway projects may slow dramatically at the height of the construction season.” “If a highway funding plan emerges by Christmas, the odds are it will keep spending at current levels plus inflation, far below the multitrillion-dollar infrastructure investment that some experts say is necessary by 2020. Meantime, however, unless Congress moves to address the trust fund shortfall, states will be in hot water by August. ‘Our major capital projects could be slowed or potentially suspended,’ said Reggie Sanders, a spokesman for the D.C. Department of Transportation. ‘It would be a big setback.’” - The Washington Post 7/2/14 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/countdown-to-a-shutdown-of-federal- transportation-funding/2014/07/02/8f6f313c-012a-11e4-8572-4b1b969b6322_story.html) Florida: “The federal transportation trust fund will reach a critically low level this summer, and Congress continues to stall on a comprehensive long term solution. We’ve learned that could have an impact on the roads you drive every day. The Florida Department of Transportation says we are in better shape than some other states, because only about one-third of Florida’s transportation funding comes from the federal government. ‘We could survive an insolvent federal highway trust fund for three to six months, roughly, without any negative impact, Beyond that point, then there will be a tangible impact that just can’t be avoided,’ says FDOT Public Information Officer Ron Tittle. He says the FDOT has already been working on prioritizing funding needs.
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. ‘Safety and preservation is first,’ he says. Tittle says FDOT also ranks highly any project that involves a public/private partnership. ‘The other projects that we’re working on or that we’re planning toward, we may have to start cutting back on those,’ Tittle says. That could include road repair projects for rough and bumpy- but not dangerous- streets as well as less mowing on state roads. While those long term concerns are very real, Tittle says everything will continue to function as is in the short term, and he’s hopeful Congress will come up with a solution before the funding runs out.” -News 104.5 WOKV 6/26/14 (http://www.wokv.com/news/news/local/fdot-creating-priorities-while- federal-funding-sol/ngS4Y/) Georgia: “Two dozen transportation projects across Georgia can’t get underway because state officials worry the federal government won’t be able to chip in its share of the costs. That’s because the federal Highway Trust Fund is projected to run out of money this summer.” “Georgia officials don’t want to start projects they can’t finish. State law requires essentially having all of the cash on hand before digging the first shovelful of dirt. ‘This summer, Georgia and other states are all totally confused about availability of funds because the transportation bill we have now, which expires in September, is not fully funded,’ said Todd Long, Georgia’s assistant transportation commissioner. For the most part, when projects currently under way conclude, activity ‑ and construction jobs ‑ will end without a fully funded, long-term federal bill. That could ultimately jeopardize major local projects that are in the planning stage, such as a $12-million project to widen the West Winder Bypass in Barrow County and $24 million for interchanges on Ga. 316 at Ga. 81 and Ga. 11. However, the three regions that passed the transportation sales tax, like the one centered around Augusta, will continue to see activity on projects funded solely by the new tax and state money. As a temporary measure, Gov. Nathan Deal approved the sale of bonds and the use of some accrued state gas-tax money. It will fund a reduced number of projects that are eligible for federal contributions, which will be made up once Congress passes a bill. ‘We looked at capacity and decided that was the most we could do. These are still relatively small, but it continues to allow us to have work,’ Long said. ‘... We can’t do this again.’”
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. -OnlineAthens 5/25/14 (http://onlineathens.com/general-assembly/2014-05-24/depletion-federal- highway-funds-stalls-georgia-road-projects) “More than 70 transportation projects across Georgia could be delayed indefinitely because the federal Highway Trust Fund is running dry, state highway officials said. In metro Atlanta, this might mean a redesigned interchange with additional left-turn lanes on I-285 at Flat Shoals Road in Decatur will have to wait. Another right-turn lane on the exit ramp of Ga. 400 North at Holcomb Bridge Road may be put on hold. Cars could keep stacking up in busy Buckhead because plans for a left-turn lane on Piedmont Road at Habersham Road could be pushed back. And dozens of road resurfacing and bridge maintenance projects may be stalled, all because Congress has not acted to shore up the soon-to-be insolvent federal fund that pays for transportation projects across the country. Federal dollars account for more than half the money in the Georgia Department of Transportation’s total budget. And about two-thirds of the money GDOT spends on capital improvements comes from the federal Highway Trust Fund. But U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx issued letter to state transportation department heads on Wednesday notifying them that the trust fund is projected to go into the red as early as August. Without an infusion of cash from its general fund or a new surface transportation bill, the federal government won’t be able to honor its commitments to states for bridge, highway and transit projects.” “GDOT Commissioner Keith Golden said Georgia won’t have to halt any active projects. But he has set a July 1 cutoff for authorizing new projects because of the uncertainty about how quickly Georgia would receive federal reimbursements. About $200 million worth of projects that were set to begin this summer will be delayed indefinitely until the federal funding question is decided, he said. ‘It’s a huge impact to our state,’ Golden said. ‘Summer is usually our major construction season.’” -ajc.com 5/8/14 (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/transportation/georgia-projects-imperiled-if-federal- transportati/nfryn/) “The Georgia Department of Transportation had hoped to seek construction bids for a $3.3 million improvement project in April, with work taking place soon after. Officials aren’t sure now when that will take place.”
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. “DOT Commissioner Keith Golden told a Hall County audience on March 13 that federal money for roads is drying up long before the current spending law ends Sept. 30. ‘Starting in July, we will not be authorizing any federal aid projects — or very few, if any at all,’ he said. ‘There will be no design dollars authorized, no rights of way purchased for federal-aid projects and no construction dollars going out the door until Congress gives us some kind of certainty as to what the future holds.’” -The Gainsville Times 3/23/14 (http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/6/article/97296/) “State Department of Transportation Commissioner Keith Golden told a Gainesville audience Thursday that lack of funding from the federal government is hampering highway projects not just in Georgia, but all over the country.” “DOT District Engineer Bayne Smith brought credence to Golden's statements as he outlined major transportation projects for the Hall County area. While a number of those projects are underway, there are those that are being planned, but have no funding. The widening of SR 11/US 129 from Limestone Parkway to Nopone Road is one such project; the widening of SR 60/Thompson Bridge Road from SR 136 to Yellow Creek Road is another. “Four specific projects (Spout Springs Road, the Sardis Road Connector, SR 13/Atlanta Highway, SR 369/Browns Bridge Road) … all need expansion or completion, but are stalled because of lack of dollars.” -AccessNorthGa.com 3/14/14 (http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=272361) Iowa: “The Iowa Transportation Commission has approved the Fiscal Year 2015-2019 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program.” “A major component of the Program is the highway section, which documents programmed investments in the Primary Highway System for the next five years. For FY 2015-2019, approximately $2.7 billion is forecast to be available for highway right of way and construction.” “Flat or uncertain revenue at the federal and state level, increasing construction costs, and the need to invest in the existing highway system has limited the Commision from adding additional large multiyear corridor improvement projects. Without additional revenue at the state and/or federal level, the Commission does not anticipate being able to add additional large multiyear corridor projects to the Program for the foreseeable future.
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. A large part of funding available for highway programming comes from the federal government. Accurately estimating future federal funding levels is dependent on having a multiyear federal transportation authorization bill. The current authorization, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2014, resulting in continued federal funding uncertainty after this date. Another major concern with federal funding is the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which is funded primarily from federal fuel taxes, will not be able to provide funding at current levels after August 2014. If this is not corrected, drastic cuts to the federal highway program are anticipated and the Commission will have to make significant changes to the Program in FY 2015 and beyond. Approximately half of the funding available for programming projects in FY 2015 could be affected by this issue. If the need arises for the Commission to decide which projects will be rescheduled, they will consider statewide equity, length of time a project has been considered for programming, how many times a project has been rescheduled, purpose of a project, whether the project is already underway, local efforts to move forward on a project, and current conditions and need for a project.” - Iowa DOT 6/10/14 (http://www.news.iowadot.gov/newsandinfo/2014/06/fy-2015-2019-iowa- transportation-improvement-program-approved-by-the-iowa-transportation-commission.html) “Summer is peak road construction time in Iowa and work has begun on many projects on the Iowa Department of Transportation's list of priorities for this year, but questions about whether federal money will continue to flow has state officials concerned. A funding crisis could develop if Congress doesn't come up with money by July for the Highway Trust Fund, which provides about half the funding for Iowa DOT road projects.” “The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates the balance in the highway account will drop below $4 billion in July and without a cash infusion, federal reimbursement for road projects will be cut back. ‘That's the trigger for USDOT and the Federal Highway Administration to start doing partial reimbursements to keep the highway trust fund solvent,’ said Stuart Anderson, director of the Iowa DOT's Planning, Programming and Modal Division. State transportation officials are running scenarios for different levels of reimbursement and assessing how the state could make use of its existing cash balance to pay contractors. ‘We are looking at those different scenarios now so we're prepared. That's something we're hopeful we'll be able to mitigate if it happens,’ Anderson said.” “Failure to provide money for next year would cut Iowa's planned projects of more than $600 million in half, Anderson said. Cities and counties also get a portion of their transportation funding from the federal government and would be affected, too.”
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. “The Iowa Transportation Commission has developed a plan for delaying certain projects next year if federal money isn't available. Commissioners will consider several factors including the amount of money the state DOT has on hand, the length of time a project has been considered, and current need for the project.” - SFGate 5/31/14 (http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Iowa-road-work-peaks-federal-funding-in- question-5518651.php) “Whether or not state lawmakers raise the motor fuel tax Iowa this year, Iowa faces a fiscal cliff likely to reduce transportation construction funds – and jobs — later this year. That’s because the money in the federal Highway Trust Fund for the federal fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 will be dedicated to pay for commitments made in prior years, Iowa Department of Transportation Director Paul Trombino told the House Transportation Committee Jan. 23.” “Trombino said DOT staff and the Transportation Commission are considering contingency plans – how to decide which projects might be pulled from the construction program, which by the end of June will top $700 million.” - The Gazette 1/23/14 (http://thegazette.com/2014/01/23/iowa-will-feel-impact-of-transportation- fiscal-cliff-this-year/#ixzz2rcl4mRAu) Kentucky: “Road construction projects in Kentucky and the rest of the country will be in jeopardy if Congress doesn’t find a way to replenish the national Highway Trust Fund. The fund, which reimburses states for transportation costs, is expected to dry up by late summer. As a precaution, Transportation Cabinet Spokesman Chuck Wolfe says Kentucky has delayed the start of some projects. ‘We had about $195 million worth of contracting work that we would have advertised for bids last month, but did not do so,’ comments Wolfe.” “Wolfe says in the past Congress has tapped into other sources of taxpayer dollars, but has been reluctant in doing so.” - WKU Public Radio 6/11/14 (http://wkyufm.org/post/federal-funding-uncertain-kentucky-road- projects)
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. “Kentucky could lose nearly $650 million in federal funding in 2015 for building and maintaining roads unless Congress shifts additional money into the Highway Trust Fund, a state official said. Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock told the Legislature's Joint Transportation Committee that all 50 states would experience the same financial wallop if the Highway Trust Fund isn't replenished. ‘We have to let you know that this is a very real possibility if Congress fails to act,'' Hancock said. “This has wide-ranging implications for all states.’” “Gov. Steve Beshear's administration has begun work on the state's next two-year budget. Hancock said he's operating under the assumption that the shortfall ‘will be fixed in one way or another’ and that ‘the money is going to materialize.’” - ConstructionEquipmentGuide.com 1/4/14 (http://www.constructionequipmentguide.com/Kentucky- Faces-Potential-Loss-of-Fed-Road-Funds/21895/) Massachusetts: “Nearly $5 billion of proposed road, transit, and bicycling improvements across Massachusetts are at risk because Congress has failed to act at a time when the nation’s main source of highway funding verges on insolvency.” “At stake is $1 billion a year in federal funding for Massachusetts transportation projects, accounting for about half the needed money, with the state covering the other half, for several years’ worth of projects. The dozens of projects potentially affected are large and small — ranging in cost from a few hundred thousand dollars to a few hundred million dollars. Among them are the reconstruction of Interstate 91 in Springfield, resurfacing of US Route 1 in Peabody, bridge replacements on Route 16 in Medford and Everett, and a new lane on Route 128 north of Wellesley as part of an ongoing project to expand the entire highway to four full-time lanes in each direction. Other projects include a bicycle shuttle on Cape Cod, a harbor walking path in Dorchester, rotary fixes, and a new pedestrian bridge in Western Massachusetts. A prolonged funding shortage could also derail the final phase of the Green Line extension in Medford and the planned $1 billion South Station expansion. ‘That would be an enormous cut to our pretty ambitious transportation program,’ said Richard A. Davey, the state transportation secretary. ‘Everything I think that the governor has worked so hard for in transportation would be in jeopardy if we don’t see the highway trust fund replenished in some form.’”
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. “Massachusetts officials said they have yet to slow any projects nor has the Patrick administration indicated which projects would be in jeopardy should Congress fail to reach a deal. But they caution that all of the $4.9 billion in projects included on a 70-page list covering four years of plans are in danger.” “Senator Edward J. Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who serves on two committees involved in the bill, called the transportation deadlines ‘the most important priority for Congress this summer’ in a statement. ‘If we do not address this looming crisis, we will chill long-term investment in construction, neglect Massachusetts roads, bridges, and transit, and undermine our economy and job creation,’ he added.” - Boston Globe 5/4/14 (http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2014/05/03/transportation- projects-across-state-could-halted-congress-fails- act/NuxwZCw7lphNZVSk0iDjtO/story.html?s_campaign=email_BG_TodaysHeadline) Michigan: “The Highway Trust Fund, which returns more than $1 billion in federal gas tax collections to Michigan each year, is running on fumes and could be fully depleted by late August or September if Congress does not figure out a way to replenish it.” ‘If the trust fund is not replenished, the gridlock in Washington is going to reach Main Street America,’ U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told Bloomberg News this week. ‘We're expecting that by late June, maybe middle July, some of the states will already start to pull back projects and slow other projects down and even stop some.’ The situation in Michigan isn't quite as dire, according to Department of Transportation spokesperson Jeff Cranson, who said the state should be able to complete all planned construction projects this summer even if the Highway Trust Fund issue is not resolved. But 2015 could be a different story. ‘Without the trust fund our state matching funds would be focused on minor projects and heavy maintenance,’ Cranson said in an email. ‘Nothing of significance would be completed. We would need to do pavement markings and reactive maintenance.’” - MLive 6/26/14 (http://www.mlive.com/lansing- news/index.ssf/2014/06/michigan_road_funding_crisis_c.html)
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. Minnesota: “Folks at the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Met Council are keeping a close watch on how the federal government is going to fund transportation in the wake of the recent predictions that the Highway Trust Fund will go broke by August.” “‘As an agency, we are able to manage a short-term problem,’ said MnDOT spokesman Kevin Gutknecht. ‘It's difficult for the long term. We need something stable.’ Gutknecht said many projects in the state's 20-year highway improvement plan are tied to federal dollars. Transit initiatives also would be affected. MnDOT is slated to get $18 billion over the next 20 years for road projects, but a report put out late last year by the Transportation Finance Advisory Committee said that the agency will need $30 billion ‘to keep pace with Minnesota’s growing population and aging infrastructure.’” - StarTribune 5/1/14 (http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/257537291.html) Missouri: “The Missouri Highway Commission says it’s being forced to halt all new projects because of a lack of funding. Jessica Machetta reports. MoDOT Director Dave Nichols says because of declining fuel tax revenues added to the rising costs for materials, labor and employee benefits, the department will have to focus on maintenance and preservation. Nichols says Missouri’s budget for road and bridge construction was $1.3 billion just five years ago, is nearly half that this year, and is expected to fall to a projected $325 million in 2017 if revenue streams aren’t increased.” “The commission reports the looming insolvency of the Federal Highway Trust Fund — expected in the fall — is a big reason, too.” - MissouriNet 1/24/14 (http://www.missourinet.com/2014/01/24/highway-commission-suspends-all- new-road-and-bridge-projects-amid-funding-shortfall/) Montana: “Unless Congress acts in the next few weeks, the federal Highway Trust Fund, which pays for all but 13 percent of Montana highway construction, will be running on fumes in July. The U.S. Department of
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. Transportation estimates the fund will drop to just $1 billion by August, a level at which payments to states for highway and bridge construction will be postponed.” “Major projects are being delayed for bid. Labor unions and highway contractors say about 1,120 Montana jobs could be lost. Lawmakers say there aren’t yet concrete solutions for keeping the fund from going broke. ‘We have been warned by the Montana Department of Transportation that if Congress doesn’t get this issue resolved by mid-summer, we could see a short-term disruption in the current federal fiscal year of up to $40 million in projects taken off the table,’ said Cary Hegreberg, of the Montana Contractor’s Association.” “The trust fund isn’t the only transportation pothole jarring Congress. The federal Highway Bill expires Sept. 30. If the latter bill stalls, states like Montana that spend very little of their own money on road construction would be faced with much larger highway expenses.” “U.S. Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., is working on a solution to the Highway Trust Fund crisis, but won’t be revealing the specifics yet, said Andrea Helling, Walsh’s chief of staff.” “Helling said the Montana Department of Transportation has told Walsh the state can get through the end of September without an extension of the Highway Trust Fund, but if the funding shortfall isn’t addressed by the beginning of the next federal fiscal year on Oct. 1, there may be delays for 235 Montana projects valued at more than $1 billion. The job loss would be about 4,000.” “There are roughly 13,000 Montana jobs tied to highway construction, said Mike Tooley, Montana Department of Transportation director. This summer, the state is steering clear of awarding its largest highway contracts that could get hung up with federal funding problems. This way, the construction workers stay employed while Congress struggles to find a solution. ‘We’re going ahead cautiously, but we’re not stopping, either,’ Tooley said. A $20 million road construction project on U.S. Highway 2 that DOT had hoped to put out for bid this summer will wait until fall, Tooley said. He’s cautiously optimistic Congress will keep federal highway funding on the road.” - Billings Gazette 6/7/14 (http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/federal- highway-funds-hit-rough-patch/article_5369ac7d-513d-5b8e-a5b7-19fbb7613d42.html) New Hampshire: “Sidewalk and streetscape upgrades, considered an integral part of the city's downtown rehabilitation project, could now be delayed until next year.
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. City officials learned this week that its roughly $480,000 federal Transportation Enhancement grant has been delayed due to uncertainty in Congress about the Federal Highway Trust Fund. The city's streetscape project is one of about 25 projects statewide that could be ‘shelved’ until the issue is resolved, N.H. Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton said Friday. Although the funding picture likely will be clearer in October, by then it would be too late to begin the city's sidewalk project. This scenario creates a fresh challenge for city officials, who expected the $8 million downtown utility and paving upgrades to be finished in November. It's not certain what would happen to sidewalks torn up during construction if the grant is delayed into next year. ‘This will interrupt the entire downtown project, in my opinion,’ Councilor David Witham said this week. New Hampshire gets about $150 million a year in federal transportation dollars to pay for numerous projects. Under normal circumstances, the federal government sends money for these multiyear projects in batches, said Bill Watson, the DOT's administrator of planning and community assistance. However, with the Highway Trust Fund running out of money and uncertainty around the federal transportation budget process, the state has already committed its entire $150 million allocation to multiyear projects that have begun. ‘If federal funding doesn't come through in the future, the state has no way of backing up those contracts because there are no state dollars in the contracts,’ Boynton said. ‘If we don't back up those projects with the federal dollars we have now, we run the risk of having to suspend work.’ That decision ensures federally funded projects, already under way, will continue regardless of what happens in Washington. It also means the state has no more money this year for other transportation projects.” “Somersworth's streetscape project includes new sidewalks along the High Street-Main Street-Market Street corridor, landscaping upgrades, decorative lighting and other improvements. It's currently in the final design stage.” “If the grant money is held up through the 2014 construction season, the city would face tough choices. [Public Works Director] Murray said the city would likely need to treat the gravel sidewalks to prevent a safety and snow removal problems during the winter. At the same time, she's concerned that waiting until next year to complete the sidewalk work could damage the newly paved roads.” - fosters.com 6/28/14 (http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140628/GJNEWS_01/140629395/-1/FOSNEWS)
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. “The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has advised that the funding levels for the Federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) will likely run out of money for transportation disbursements to states by July or August 2014. FHWA may need to institute cash management measures which would involve delayed or partial reimbursements to the states. The impact to The State of New Hampshire and the Transportation Improvement program will result in general uncertainty and will have a significant impact to funding the State Ten Year Transportation Improvement Plan. Due to limited State Highway Trust Fund revenues, the State of New Hampshire uses Turnpike Toll Credits to meet the match of the federal program. As a result, there are limited State dollars to support the federal program and as a consequence, the STIP becomes dependent on the availability of federal funds. Any loss of federal funds could very well lead to suspension of work and delay of future State and local transportation projects. As a result of the Congressional discussion on the HTF and MAP-21 reauthorization, the Department of Transportation has employed a moderate risk management strategy in utilizing federal funds with a strong commitment to funding current construction projects under contract. Revenue in the HTF is approximately 70 percent of federally reimbursable construction program outlays. Due to the uncertainty of federal funds in the HTF, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation sought the full authorization of federal funds for current year construction cash needs on existing multi-year construction projects to ensure funds are available to maintain the current federally funded construction program. As a result, the State’s remaining allocation of 2014 federal fiscal year funds is fully obligated and the remaining federally funded projects in the advertising schedule (about $25m) are being delayed to 2015 federal fiscal year. Taking proactive steps in anticipation of possible end of fiscal year redistribution of federal funds, the Department has maintained several projects in the September advertising schedule for any anticipated redistribution of federal funds. Typical redistribution to the State of NH has been in the amount of $5 to $8 million per year over the past years. The timing of advertising of these projects is subject to availability of redistribution funding and will change if this funding is unavailable. Should a long term sustainable solution to the HTF issue not be reached by Congress in the coming months, project delays in Federal Fiscal Year 2015 are anticipated to be more substantial than those occurring in 2014.” - New Hampshire DOT Advertising Schedule 6/27/14 (http://www.nh.gov/dot/org/projectdevelopment/planning/documents/JuneAdSchedule.pdf) “In a state already struggling to cover the costs of maintaining its roads and bridges, the possibility that federal money for such projects could run out this summer has N.H. Department of Transportation officials nervous. So nervous, they’re re-thinking how they’re going to fund all the scheduled projects in the coming months, and whether some may just not get done.
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. The N.H. Department of Transportation is using money from the federal highway trust fund sooner than planned because of the uncertainty, Bill Cass, director of project development for the state agency, said Tuesday. Agency officials have also concentrated those funds on construction projects already under contract, he said. ‘As a result, our federal funds have essentially been committed, and the remaining federally funded projects in the advertising schedule (about $25 million) are being delayed,’ he said. The highway trust fund, which is funded by gas and diesel fuel taxes, reimburses states for transportation infrastructure projects. New Hampshire relies heavily on the federal fund to cover repairs and new construction of its roads and bridges. The fund’s highway account is expected to drop below its critical funding threshold of $4 billion in July, which is roughly the middle of the summer construction season. Its mass transit account is expected to dip below its critical point of $1 billion in August. This could mean delays in reimbursements to states for highway projects. ‘What that means for us is uncertain, but it would be a significant impact,’ Cass said. Those effects could include suspending work, he said.” - SentinelSource.com 6/4/14 (http://www.sentinelsource.com/news/local/n-h-could-feel-effects-of- federal-highway-funds-drying/article_065940c7-fda9-5fe4-902e-09f09d08e313.html) New Mexico: “New Mexico’s biggest construction project, the Paseo Del Norte, Interstate 25 overhaul could soon be short of cash after a federal fund that’s chipping in money runs out of funds. If Congress doesn’t come up with a way to fund the Highway Trust Fund the project on Paseo del Norte and I-25 would lose out on millions and there are other projects that could be stalled altogether. Construction of the massive Paseo/ I-25 Interchange project is about a quarter complete. Officials said work is ramping up to prepare for the biggest chunk of construction which is the flyover from I-25 north to Paseo del Norte westbound. With that said, there is no turning back now. However, according to New Mexico Department of Transportation spokesperson Melissa Dosher a portion of that funding could be jeopardy. ‘We are concerned but we are prepared,’ Dosher said.” “‘The DOT is funded, 75% funded, through federal funds,’ Dosher said.
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. Dosher said if Congress doesn’t act fast federally funded projects like the current expansion of Highway 491 from Gallup to Farmington could be halted.” “Many are wondering what does this mean for the Paseo project. The federal government has agreed to put in $5 million to get the $93 million project done.” “The Department of Transportation said right now they’re using mainly city and state dollars to move the project forward. But they said if Congress doesn’t come up with a solution the state will have to pick up the feds’ tab. ‘I think with the state road fund we can use that money as a last case resort but as of right now we’re pretty confident that congress is going to come through. They have in the past, when ever these situations have risen,’ Dosher said. If Congress authorizes federal dollars for the trust fund New Mexico will get reimbursed for money it may have to use. Dosher said that also means projects, that may have been stalled, will start up again.” - krqe.com 4/22/14 (http://krqe.com/2014/04/22/road-projects-in-jeopardy-when-federal-fund-runs- dry/) North Carolina: “North Carolina’s top transportation official said Tuesday that the state could lose funding for dozens of road construction projects if Congress can’t agree on a measure to keep the federal Highway Trust Fund solvent for the rest of the year. ‘The potential that 28 percent of our budget is going to evaporate in August because the federal government cannot figure it out is a big concern,’ state Transportation Secretary Tony Tata said. ‘It’s critical, and I’m very concerned.’ The Federal Highway Trust Fund pays for road and bridge projects nationwide. The primary funding source for the fund is a federal gasoline tax.” “Failure to agree on a fix, Tata said, means funding will run out in August, putting 20,000 jobs and 108 transportation projects – including bridge replacements and resurfacing – at risk. Hoping to head that off, Tata took project maps to every member of North Carolina’s Congressional delegation. ‘Nobody wants to come home in August to bulldozers parked on the side of the road and 20,000 workers with pink slips,’ Tata said. The Senate finance panel is slated to vote on the measure Thursday.
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. One project that wouldn’t be in jeopardy, Tata said, is the Fortify project – an 11.5-mile rebuilding project of Interstates 40/440 in Raleigh. Construction is too far along on it.” - WRAL.com 6/24/14 (http://www.wral.com/federal-funding-issue-could-put-nc-road-projects-jobs-in- jeopardy/13761939/) “North Carolina transportation improvement projects will stall if Congress fails to avert the expected bankruptcy this summer for the national Highway Trust Fund, Gov. Pat McCrory told state business leaders Wednesday. ‘The business community has got to step up and get Congress unparalyzed up there,’ McCrory said at a daylong conference on transportation and the state economy. ‘This is coming very quickly, and it could cost us a billion dollars here in North Carolina.’” “A 2012 transportation spending authorization law called MAP-21 is set to expire at the end of September, and the federal government is expected to run out of transportation funds before then. Federal money accounts for about 28 percent of state transportation spending in North Carolina. ‘We’re going to have to stop writing checks in July or August this year if the federal government does not reauthorize the transportation law,’ said state Transportation Secretary Tony Tata. He shared the stage with McCrory at the conference sponsored by the N.C. Chamber, a statewide business lobby group.” “Nick Tennyson, Tata’s chief deputy secretary, worried that Congress might agree on just a stopgap measure to continue transportation funding for another six months. ‘When we get a new act, we need to know that it is both going to be sustainable and will increase funding,’ Tennyson told the group. “We’re going to need the Congress to hear from more than just DOTs and road-builders. They need to hear from people who use highways and all the other modes of transportation.’” “McCrory and Tata said North Carolina will have to find new ways to pay for its transportation needs, but they weren’t ready to suggest new taxes or other revenue sources. First, they plan to offer new projections on how much money the state will need for long-term transportation improvements, as part of a 25-year plan to be released by DOT later this year. That cost figure is expected to be billions of dollars more than the state now can hope to collect from current state and federal revenue streams. ‘We’re going to need to make that investment beyond what we currently do, and that is very clear,’ Tata said. ‘We’ve got some issues that are going to require some money to get through.’” - newsobserver.com 3/26/14 (http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/03/26/3735259/federal- transportation-dollars.html)
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. Oklahoma: “While Oklahoma has made significant improvements to the state's roads and bridges in recent years, continued strong investment on the local, state, and federal levels is vital in continuing that momentum to grow the economy and keep citizens safe, according to a report published Thursday by transportation nonprofit TRIP.” “And while Oklahoma has been successful in combating some transportation issues throughout the state, continued investment is critical moving forward, as there are hundreds of structurally deficient bridges, thousands of miles of roadway, and many lives to save. ‘We are certainly excited about the progress made in the past decade, especially on addressing the state's structurally deficient highway bridges thanks to a boost in state funding,’ said ODOT Chief of Media and Public Relations Terri Angier. ‘However, we are anxious about declining or stagnant federal funding curtailing that momentum and impacting ongoing and future transportation improvements.’” - AASHTO Journal 6/27/14 (http://www.aashtojournal.org/Pages/062714TRIPOklahoma.aspx) Oregon: “Road crews are bracing for a 'highway fiscal cliff’ that could cost Oregon nearly $500 million, job losses and bring new road projects to a screeching halt. ‘We are definitely holding our breath, we are waiting very anxiously,’ said Travis Brouwer, Assistant Director of the Oregon Department of Transportation. ‘If federal funding goes away then we will see a very substantial reduction in the amount of work that we can do for Oregon's roads.’ The Obama administration has warned the Highway Trust Fund will be insolvent by August. In Oregon, that means $470 million in federal funds for highway programs would be eliminated in 2015. Existing road projects will likely be completed but new road projects will be canceled or delayed. ODOT estimates 4,700 jobs will be lost.” - KGW.com 6/18/14 (http://www.kgw.com/news/local/Oregon-bracing-for-highway-fiscal-cliff-that- could-cost-state-500M--263742141.html#) “The Oregon Department of Transportation has decided to postpone new road construction projects for at least a year pending more certainty about federal transportation funding. The agency will delay updating its Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, which designates funding and scheduling for capital projects on federal, state, city and county roads.
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. David Kim, an ODOT manager for the west metro area, on Monday, June 9, briefed the Washington County Coordinating Committee, a group of mayors and other officials who meet every month to discuss transportation issues. Kim presented the group with a letter from David Lohman, the chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission. In it, Lohman explains that ODOT's State Highway Fund is largely being spent on debt service and highway maintenance, so STIP construction projects rely almost exclusively on federal funding. But the federal Highway Trust Fund faces an annual deficit of about $15 billion, and the federal gas tax has not been raised since 1993. ‘If Congress doesn't act by the end of August to address the federal Highway Trust Fund deficit, on the near term, that has the potential to delay our projects,’ Kim said. ‘On the longer term, we don't know what our funding is going to look like.’” “Washington County Commissioner Roy Rogers said the county would continue its road construction projects, but will likely not receive funding for improvements related to the state transportation system. ‘Everything from Hall Boulevard in Tigard to TV Highway, U.S. 26, Oregon 217,’ Rogers said. ‘If there's no funding, then we have no mechanism to do any enhancement.’ Washington County projects that have already been approved by ODOT but could be affected by this decision include: Southbound Oregon 217 split diamond interchange project at Southwest Allen Boulevard and Southwest Denney Road to improve traffic flow and safety on the highway ($5.3 million estimated cost). I-5 improvement at the northbound and southbound Boones Ferry Road exits to help enhance traffic flow and safety (combined cost estimated at $5.7 million). Design engineering for the future widening of U.S. 26 between Southwest 185th Avenue and Cornelius Pass Road ($2 million). Oregon 47/Oregon 8 (TV Highway) intersection improvements for freight mobility and bicycle/pedestrian projects in Forest Grove ($4.2 million estimated cost). King City sidewalk infill along Oregon 99W ($1 million estimated cost). Oregon 8 (TV Highway) corridor safety and access to transit ($1.6 million estimated cost).” - OREGONLIVE The Oregonian 6/12/14 (http://www.oregonlive.com/washingtoncounty/index.ssf/2014/06/odot_postpones_road_improvemen .html)
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. Rhode Island: “With Rhode Island’s roads and bridges badly in need of repair, political and union leaders gathered Friday to talk about how federal financing of about $200 million annually for state repair projects could come to a halt in October if Congress does not reauthorize federal transportation spending. That federal financing of about $283 billion has won support from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse told reporters gathered Friday inside the Veterans Memorial Auditorium building. But the federal highway bill must still be financed by the Senate Finance Committee and pass the full Senate and the House before that money would be available to states, said Whitehouse, a member of the committee that has already supported the bill. ‘If we don’t [pass it], funding runs out in October, and because Rhode Island has borrowed so much money in the past to fund its highway program and has so much of its budget eaten up by interest, we are going to be one of the first states to have to shut down highway construction if this bill doesn’t pass,’ Whitehouse said. ‘So it’s very important to Rhode Island to make sure that the highway bill passes — and passes on time.’” “Only new projects, some of which the state Department of Transportation has already put out to bid, would be halted, Whitehouse said. Chief engineer Kazem Farhoumand for the state Department of Transportation said most projects that would be affected are not large. One would be the Great Island bridge in Narragansett, which is vital because it’s the only way to get on and off that island.” “Furthermore, Whitehouse said his office has crafted a provision in the federal highway bill that would provide $400 million a year of competitive grant dollars available to states that need financial help on special projects of national and regional significance. Again, from his viewpoint on an upper floor overlooking Route 95, Whitehouse pointed out another major Rhode Island road improvement need that could use such federal help — the Route 6/Route 10 connector in Olneyville. ‘And that is decrepit, ancient highway infrastructure,’ Whitehouse said. ‘It is falling down around us right now, and there simply isn’t the money to pay for getting it rebuilt.’ Fixing it is a $400-million to $500-million project, he said, citing Farhoumand, the DOT engineer. If the highway bill with that provision passes, though, Rhode Island could apply for a grant and get as much as $80 million a year over six years for such significant projects, Whitehouse said.” - Providence Journal 5/31/14 (http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20140531- highway-repairs-in-rhode-island-could-be-threatened-by-a-delay-in-federal-budget-approval.ece)
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. “Unless Congress acts, the Highway Trust Fund will start running out of money in July for the first time in its 58-year history, with no real precedent for what happens next.” “‘We have the potential of missing an entire construction season,’ said Michael Lewis, director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. His state’s only funding program for roads and bridges is one that matches the federal program, which typically pays for 80 percent of a project’s cost. If the federal money stops flowing, Lewis said, ‘We’ve got nothing.’” - Politico 3/26/14 (http://blockedbythebridge.com/politico-highway-fund-stares-into-the-abyss/) “The state may be unable to start any new highway or bridge projects beginning a year from now because the source of the money, a federal trust fund financed with the federal gasoline tax, is going broke, according to state Transportation Director Michael P. Lewis and other officials. The possible collapse of the national Highway Trust Fund, Lewis says, means that states could no longer commit funds to new highway and bridge projects for the federal fiscal year beginning in October 2015.” - Providence Journal 10/27/13 (http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20131027- r.i.-road-bridge-work-jeopardized-as-federal-funds-dry-up.ece) South Dakota: “The federal government’s highway trust fund will run out of highway money this summer, putting road and bridge projects into financial uncertainty, South Dakota Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist said Thursday. He told members of the state Transportation Commission that the fund could be empty as early as July unless Congress provides an injection of general funds.” “Bergquist said there is a $100 billion gap between expected revenue and current programs. ‘That will be the real starting point to getting anything done,’ he said.” “Earlier this week, Gov. Dennis Daugaard said he is willing to consider increasing South Dakota’s motor- fuel taxes. He previously was opposed to tax increases.” “For the 2015 state fiscal year that begins July 1, 2014, the state Department of Transportation is budgeted to receive $380.7 million of federal funding, including $347 million for construction. Another $220.2 million is budgeted to come from South Dakota sources such as motor-fuel taxes for construction and DOT general operations.”
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. - Watertown Public Opinion 5/23/14 (http://www.thepublicopinion.com/news/local_news/federal- highway-aid-uncertain-as-legislators-begin-study/article_7f211458-e27b-11e3-9e2e- 0019bb2963f4.html?mode=print) “South Dakota's highways are in good shape and there's no need to boost state highway taxes, Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist said Wednesday. However, the situation could change if Congress cuts the federal funding that helps states maintain and construct roads and bridges, Bergquist told state lawmakers.” "‘There is not a need today for additional state revenues,’ Bergquist said after the legislative hearing. ‘Obviously what happens at the federal level has the potential to skew that substantially.’ Bergquist told state lawmakers he hopes Congress provides highway funding for the rest of the federal fiscal year as part of an overall budget bill expected to be approved in the next few days. Federal taxes are providing about $35 billion a year to the federal highway trust fund, but Congress has been adding other money to spend about $50 billion a year on highways. One proposal would cut federal highway spending to $35 billion a year to match revenue receipts, which could cost South Dakota $80 million to $90 million a year, Bergquist said. That would have a devastating impact on South Dakota's ability to maintain roads and bridges, he said.” - Capital Journal 1/15/14 (http://www.capjournal.com/news/official-says-no-need-to-boost-sd-highway- taxes/article_103990ea-7e69-11e3-ab24-0019bb2963f4.html) Tennessee: “Financial troubles on Capitol Hill could mean missing out on local road improvements. At risk is the next step of the massive Highway 27 project around downtown Chattanooga. It's a situation that has our leaders looking for solutions. The first phase of the Highway 27 project on the north side of the Olgiati Bridge is expected to be complete by February, but the second part that would straighten out 27's curves around downtown could be in trouble. That's because the Federal Highway Trust Fund is going broke. ‘The federal government has over-committed dollars from what they're receiving so because of that the federal trust fund will become insolvent in the next 30-40 days,’ TDOT Transportation Commissioner John Schroer said. TDOT Commissioner John Schroer is checking in on the progress of local road projects currently underway, like the new US-41 bridge over Nickajack and expanded Highway 27 in North Chattanooga. As
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. TDOT finishes these lengthy projects, he worries the next projects may not happen. Possibly, the rest of the Highway 27 project from the Olgiati Bridge to I-24. ‘We're in a pretty precarious situation for the next 90-120 days and we're just trying to muddle our way through it,’ Schroer said. If the fund, which pays for more than half of the country's transportation projects, isn't somehow replenished, TDOT's budget could be cut in half.” - WRCBtv.com 6/25/14 (http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/25871799/local-impact-of-federal-road-money- drying-up) “Tennessee's transportation chief pledged Tuesday that the $22.5 million widening of Apison Pike -- seen as key for McKee Foods and easing Collegedale area traffic tie-ups -- will go forward despite federal funding worries. But, plans to extend the highway to East Brainerd Road could run into problems unless the shortfall in the federal Highway Trust Fund is cleared up, said state Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer. That's not the only huge Hamilton County project that could be affected. The planned improvements to U.S. 27 in downtown Chattanooga from Olgiati Bridge to Interstate 24 could fall victim to that same shortfall, officials said. The widening of U.S. 27 between the bridge and Signal Mountain Road got under way in late 2011, with completion currently scheduled for February 2015. Meanwhile, the work has affected thousands of commuters daily and resulted in the building of 34 retaining walls and six bridges. The original cost estimate was $80 million. Costs currently stand at $102 million.” “Schroer said the state is ‘moving forward as if we've got the money but planning as if we don't. If funding is interrupted or non-existent, it does create a huge issue.’ ‘In about 30 days the trust fund will be broke,’ Schroer said as he readied to board a vehicle to see the Apison Pike expansion route and a planned connector between Highway 58 and I-75 near the Volkswagen plant. ‘It has huge consequences across the country.’” “He told a small delegation from McKee Foods that he'd like to go right into extending Apison Pike to East Brainerd Road, a project earlier estimated at about $42 million. But, Schroer said that's one of a number of state projects in jeopardy due to the trust fund shortage.” “The TDOT commissioner said the state is in better shape than some others because it doesn't have any transportation debt.
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. Still, he said, it's ‘critical to have consistent long-term funding when building road projects.’” - timesfreepress.com 6/25/14 (http://timesfreepress.com/news/2014/jun/25/apison-pike-widening- gets-go-ahead-or-apison-pike/?breakingnews) “Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer today released the three-year transportation program, featuring approximately $1.5 billion in infrastructure investments for 59 individual project phases in 41 counties, as well as 14 statewide programs. Due to the uncertainty of the future of the Federal Highway Trust Fund, TDOT has taken a conservative approach to this building program. The program does not feature early engineering work on any new projects. TDOT is continuing its “pay-as-you-go” philosophy and remains one of only four states in the nation to carry no debt for any transportation initiatives. ‘Despite the funding challenges facing transportation agencies, this program represents TDOT’s commitment to building and maintaining one of the best transportation systems in the nation,’ Haslam said.” “‘We are at a critical point in federal transportation funding and without action, there will be major impacts to TDOT programs,’ Schroer said. ‘We would be forced to develop an alternate program that reflects the loss of federal dollars, and focuses exclusively on the maintenance of our existing pavement and bridges rather than new projects.’” - TriCities.com 4/3/14 (http://www.tricities.com/news/local/article_c15ec91a-bb56-11e3-87cc- 001a4bcf6878.html) Vermont: “Vermont Transportation Secretary Brian Searles said the trust fund is the major source of money for the state’s projects and programs. ‘Without money in the fund, the (federal) money will not flow to states and we won’t be able to obligate coming construction projects,’ Searles said. Sue Minter, deputy secretary of transportation, said the agency is unable to commit to projects in the 2015 fiscal year and will soon have to decide whether to put projects out to bid for the coming summer construction season. ‘For us, a risk starts to build in spring,’ she said. ‘We’re looking at May saying, Well, if we don’t know what the future is, we may have to delay. That’s what we’re trying to avoid.’
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. If Congress opts not to raise the gas tax, Searles said, it could decide to transfer money from elsewhere to refill the trust fund. Congress has done that to the tune of about $40 billion in recent years to keep the trust fund afloat, he said. ‘Short of that, we’ll have to delay the advertisement of some projects this spring in anticipation of running out of money at the end of the federal fiscal year,’ he said.” - Rutland Herald 1/27/14 (http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20140127/THISJUSTIN/701279983) Virginia: “Letters warning that federal funding would begin to dry up on Aug. 1 went to state officials this week, foreshadowing a period when money for bridge and highway projects may slow dramatically at the height of the construction season.” “The standard procedure is for states to lay out the cash for transportation projects and then bill Washington for its share. Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey L. Layne Jr. said the commonwealth could keep construction workers on the job for about 90 days, provided there is the promise of eventual reimbursement. ‘Maybe nothing goes on in Washington in August, but in the commonwealth and elsewhere, that’s prime time for construction projects and maintenance,’ Layne said. ‘If we don’t see substantial movement [by Congress] in the next 60 days, we’ll start thinking about curtailing things.’” - The Washington Post 7/2/14 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/countdown-to-a-shutdown-of-federal- transportation-funding/2014/07/02/8f6f313c-012a-11e4-8572-4b1b969b6322_story.html) “A year after enacting a transportation law meant to provide stable funding for construction and maintenance, the state may soon lose more than half of its transportation construction funds, and Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne is warning that the state may face a serious funding shortfall.” “Layne said Virginia receives about $1.2 billion each year from the [federal Highway Trust Fund]. That covers about 57 percent of the state's construction budget. ‘That's a big cliff,’ Layne said. ‘We've already obligated some projects with the anticipation of getting federal dollars. ‘I've said at every six-year plan hearing that there will be significant reductions to this plan if we don't get the federal revenues equal to what we have received in previous years.’” “Hampton Roads' share of that money is about $280 million, said Transportation Planning Organization Director Dwight Farmer. The money is allocated to 125 projects in the current 2015-2018 plan, ranging
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. from road widening to new road construction to replacing bridges to bike trails and transit stop upgrades.” “Hampton spokeswoman Robin McCormick said several projects have been approved for federal funding, including intersection improvements on Pembroke Avenue, Fox Hill Road and Woodland Avenue, and a widening project on Saunders Road. Other key projects include widening Wythe Creek Road and improving Route 199. ‘It's pages and pages of projects,’ Farmer said. ‘I'm not saying they're all going to die, but they are at risk.’" “Layne said the worst-case scenario for the trust fund is the loss of the congressional funding and no reauthorization or revision of revenues. That would reduce the fund in fiscal year 2015 by $15 billion in funds already committed to the states, leaving only the revenue from fuel taxes. Virginia's share of the remaining revenues would be less than $800,000 a year. ‘We would have to adjust,’ he said. ‘Obviously things that are currently under construction, we would have to prioritize and fund those things going through. We would try not to stop any projects currently underway.’” - Daily Press 5/4/14 (http://articles.dailypress.com/2014-05-04/news/dp-nws-federal-transportation- fund-cliff-20140502_1_transportation-projects-trust-fund-transit-projects) West Virginia: “All road construction projects around the state could come to a halt in August if Congress allows the federal Highway Trust Fund to run out of money, state Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox told legislators Monday. ‘We’d have to stop all construction activity around the state,’ Mattox told the legislative interim Infrastructure Committee. ‘If federal funds would cease, we would run out of cash very quickly.’ At issue is whether Congress will pass a transportation funding bill before the Highway Trust Fund, which provides federal matching funds to the states, is exhausted.” “Mattox told legislators he anticipates that Congress will resolve the impasse either before or shortly after the Highway Trust Fund is exhausted. ‘We’ve been down this road before,’ he said. ‘It’s not the first time Congress faced a deadline on highway funding.’”
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. “Also Monday, Mattox said oil and gas drilling companies have voluntarily contributed about $11 million a year over the past three years to upgrade roads in the Northern Panhandle and north-central West Virginia damaged by heavy drilling equipment.” “‘Industry is participating in helping the Department of Highways,” Mattox said. “We just need more help.’” - The Charleston Gazette 5/19/14 (http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140519/GZ01/140519255/1419) Wyoming: “WYDOT has identified about $134.5 million worth of projects in Laramie County that it plans to finish between now and 2020. This includes 13 projects, totaling $22.1 million, that are planned for this spring or summer. But WYDOT district engineer Pat Persson said the vast majority of these projects focuses on maintenance and preservation instead of major reconstruction, new roads or widening lanes. That is because WYDOT estimates it needs $64 million more a year just to be able to maintain the roads in their current state. ‘Because of the available dollars and because of inflation, that kind of changed our direction in our improvement program from one where we are building new roads and doing reconstruction to preservation,’ Persson said. ‘So we are dedicating roughly two-thirds of our dollars to preserving what we have already. We are trying to take our money and take care of what we have.’ Persson added that it is hard to plan several years in advance because of questions surround the agency's federal funding. The federal government contributes $235 million, or about two-thirds, of the state's annual $354 million highway construction and maintenance budget. But the current two-year federal highway bill expires in October. Congress will have to approve a new bill before that and find a new way to fund it since the federal Highway Trust Fund is running out of money. This has led WYDOT to budget conservatively in its highway plan. Persson said a few major projects do remain on the books in the long-range plans for the state. But a more common project is overlay and milling.
© 2014 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of ARTBA. That involves removing a thin layer of old asphalt and applying a new one. This is a temporary fix when compared to a full asphalt reconstruction project, but it is far cheaper. Persson added this does not widen or straighten the roadways.” - Wyoming Tribune Eagle 5/21/14 (http://www.wyomingnews.com/articles/2014/05/22/news/19local_05-22-14.txt#.U3-Dg_ldXTo)
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