AASHTO Board of Directors urges congress to immediately ensure
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Board of Director passed a resolution that calls upon Congress to ensure the solvency of the nation's Highway Trust Fund this summer, before the Federal Highway Administration is forced to begin delaying reimbursements to states for transportation work underway.
"We encourage Congress to address the short-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund, but there also are long-term funding and policy issues that need addressed," said Mike Hancock, secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and AASHTO president. "AASHTO and its member states remain committed to working with Congress on a long-term reauthorization bill."
The AASHTO Board of Directors passed the resolution during the association's annual Spring Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.
Current USDOT forecasts anticipate delays to reimbursements to states as early as July, when most states will be in the middle of active summer maintenance and construction work.
The resolution points out that nearly 50 percent of the funding for highway construction projects is derived from the Federal-aid Highway Program; and that state DOTs rely on a daily reimbursement from FHWA for costs already incurred on federally funded highway projects. Delaying payments affects state's ability to continue work and could potentially affect whether states begin new projects.
A complete copy of the resolution is included below. Additional information on the Highway Trust Fund and the potential affects of not funding transportation infrastructure can be found at http://invest.transportation.org.
Proposed Policy Resolution PPR-14SM-03
WHEREAS, The United States Department of Transportation estimates that at current spending rates the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund will run out of cash at the end of August 2014 and the Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund will run out of cash before the end of 2014; and
WHEREAS, The Federal Highway Administration may begin delaying repayments to State Departments of Transportation as early as July 2014 to prevent the Highway Account from running out of cash; and
WHEREAS, Nearly fifty percent of the funding for highway construction projects is derived from Federal-aid Highway Program; and
WHEREAS, State DOTs rely on a daily reimbursement from FHWA for costs already incurred on federally funded highway projects; and
WHEREAS, Potential delays in federal reimbursement may impede a State DOTs ability to pay contractors for work already completed on highway construction projects; and
WHEREAS, The uncertainty of receiving timely reimbursement from FHWA may cause States to delay or cancel projects scheduled to begin this year; now therefore be it
RESOLVED, That Congress must act to ensure the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund prior to FHWA delaying reimbursements to State DOTs for costs already incurred on federally funded highway projects; and further be it
RESOLVED, That the AASHTO Board of Directors approve this resolution and direct AASHTO staff to communicate this need to members of Congress and other transportation advocates.t