ARTBA warns funding uncertainty is causing states to delay improvements

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association said four states have delayed, and nine states of threatened to delay, transportation projects if Congress doesn't appropriate money to the Highway Trust Fund. Funding in the HTF runs out on May 31.
Due to continued uncertainty over appropriations to the federal Highway Trust Fund, four states have delayed or canceled about $780 million in transportation improvement projects, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) recently reported.

ARTBA, based in Washington, D.C., also reported that nine other states have said about $1.8 billion are at risk if Congress doesn't fix the the trust fund, which is set to run out of money on May 31. The association said about 52 percent of all bridge and highway improvement projects are funded through the Highway Trust Fund.

ARTBA CEO and President Pete Ruane said the lack of a funding plan is “deja vu all over again,” referencing the continuing resolutions Congress has passed to fund the trust for several months at a time.

“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 four states that have stopped or delayed projects are Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and Wyoming. The nine other states in the ARTBA report are Colorado, Connecticut, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Vermont and West Virginia.