ROADS/BRIDGES: Counties do not have the money to handle HTF crisis

Officials urge Congress to produce new funding measure as soon as possible

News Wall Street Journal June 12, 2014
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Officials at the county level are the latest attempting to light a fire under Congress in an effort to renew transportation funding.

 

Several met at a transportation briefing at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on June 12, and issued a warning to lawmakers that if something is not done in the next couple of months, work will be stopped.

 

According to the National Association of Counties, 45% of all public roads and 39% of bridges in the U.S. are maintained by its members. With that heavy of a fiscal responsibility, James Healy, transportation chairman of the NAC, said not a single county in the country would be able to make up the funding void left by the federal government.

 

“We just don’t have those dollars,” he said. “We cannot do this alone.”

 

The NAC wants to see an increase in the federal gas tax as well as the reauthorization of MAP-21, which expires at the end of September, for six years.

 

“Congressional inaction is a threat to America’s urban communities,” Roy Brooks, chairman of the NAC’s Large Urban County Caucus, said. “It’s going to keep our citizens at a standstill, literally, in traffic.”

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