Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 21, 2014

It’s a State-by-State Thing if the Highway Money Stops Flowing

As the summer heat builds in the nation’s capital, so does the pressure from governors, road builders, concrete firms, and others on Congress to find at least a short-term fix for the highway trust fund. But as CQ’s John D. Boyd notes, if there’s no remedy, the potential impact on drivers might depend on which state you live in or drive though.

Advocates of infrastructure investment warn that hundreds or thousands of construction projects could come to a halt if Congress leaves town at the end of July without enacting a way to replenish the trust fund.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx explained last week that the Transportation Department would need to delay sending highway money to the states if the balance in the trust fund falls below $4 billion.

Some states have cash reserves to draw on to keep highway projects going, but others don’t.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is reportedly saying his state could go about a month into any federal payments slowdown without disrupting current projects, although delays in federal backing could prevent bidding out any 2015 projects until federal funding is assured.

But the head of Mississippi’s transportation department has warned that if Congress does not add revenue to the trust fund, “it will be necessary to pull all state-funded maintenance projects open for bid in July.”

More of Boyd’s coverage is available via subscription at http://blogs.cq.com/transportation/.

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