Federal funding delays wreak havoc on MDOT progress

Delays from federal funding have caused safety hazards and halted the progress of the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT).

Throughout the past several years, transportation construction costs have increased more than 300 percent; this greatly impacts MDOT’s ability to fund projects.

If the crisis is not resolved, then MDOT will need to do without $432 million from federal highway funding. Of the funds, $90 million goes through local governments. Mississippi could lose $27.6 million from the fund for federal transit funding. Additionally, there are approximately 6,500 jobs that depend on the transportation industry in Mississippi.

Experts estimate that the Highway Trust Fund will be depleted for the coming summer.

“If Congress doesn’t address long-term infrastructure needs, our transportation network is going to continue to deteriorate,” Melinda McGrath, MDOT's executive director, said. “This delay is not only halting progress, but it will eventually create safety hazards for the traveling public.”

If the U.S. Congress continues to ignore the problems with the Highway Trust Fund, MDOT will need to shift into a mode of system preservation, which will cause the already growing backlog of bridge and highway projects to expand even further.

“Mississippi is at risk of losing a great deal if the Highway Trust Fund is depleted, and our transportation network is going to continue to deteriorate,” McGrath said. "The state's construction industry will lose experienced, trained workers without funding for work and jobs."

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Mississippi Department of Transportation

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