According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), four states have cancelled or delayed some US$780 million in transportation projects and a further nine states say more than US$1.8 billion in projects are at risk due to uncertainty over the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).
The HTF is the source of around 52% of investments by state governments in highway and bridge projects. Funding for the federal highway and transit programme expires on 31 May, leaving many holding their breath for Congress to take action. The HTF has suffered five revenue shortfalls between 2008 and 2014, and ARTBA says the next cash crisis is expected this summer.
“This is one of the most easily avoidable crises because Congress has known the May deadline was coming for about eight months,” said ARTBA President & CEO Pete Ruane. “Yet, here we are again flirting with another economic meltdown in the peak of the construction season.
“The continued uncertainty with the Highway Trust Fund has real world, negative impacts as state governments begin cutting back on their construction plans because they don’t know if the funding will be there to pay the bills a few months from now,” Ruane said. “This, in turn, prevents private sector companies from hiring workers and making major capital investments such as purchasing equipment, both of which are key to bolstering economic activity.”
“The clock is on the field. There are 34 legislative calendar days left in the Senate and just 22 days in the House,” Ruane said. “It’s time for Congress and the President to show they can govern and provide a permanent funding solution for America’s highway and transit program.”
Established in 1902, Washington, D.C.-based ARTBA is the “consensus voice” of the U.S. transportation design and construction industry before Congress, federal agencies, the White House, news media and the general public.
Adapted from press release by Katherine Guenioui
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/26032015/expiry-date-approaches-for-us-highway-trust-fund-587/