Transportation construction work across the nation has been put on hold by the federal government shutdown, with state transportation officials withholding approvals for 2019 projects until federal funding is guaranteed, according to a report from The Washington Post.
The amount of federal funding relied on varies between states, with some getting 85% in highway funding from D.C., while others receive less than one-third.
Ordinarily, federal funding for highway and transit projects becomes available Oct. 1, at the start of the fiscal year. The government, however, had been running on a continuing resolution which ran out Dec. 21, cutting off the availability of transportation funding to state governments. This means only a quarter of the $44 billion for highway and $11 billion for transit was paid at the beginning of the fiscal year.
In the meantime, state and local governments are prioritizing maintenance and operations while waiting for the shutdown to end. States with the ability to maintain year-round construction and maintenance schedules already are facing difficulties.
The state of Oklahoma this week halted accepting bids for about $137 million in federally funded projects as the shutdown continues. Oklahoma DOT officials said bidding on $102 million in projects supported by federal funding was canceled this month, while another $36 million scheduled for February is currently vulnerable. The state reportedly receives 57% of its highway and transit funding from federal agencies.
Source: The Washington Post