AGC of America reports that the Obama Administration is making $473 million in highway funds available for states to use immediately. More than $4.7 million could be headed to Washington State.
The funds come from unspent earmarks that were included in the US Department of Transportation’s appropriations legislation for fiscal years 2003-2006. The unused earmarked funds will go to the states that were originally designated to receive the funds meaning WSDOTs share could be $4752010.88. These are the left over funds from 19 earmarked projects around the state — from 24 cents from the Shoreline Interurban Trail to $1.1 million from the SR–509/SR-518 Interchange/Intersection Redevelopment project.
States must identify the projects they will fund by Oct. 1 and obligate them by Dec. 31. Any funds not obligated by the end of the year will be redistributed in FY 2013 to states that did meet the deadline.
The Administration acted under authority granted in the specific appropriations bill which allows the Transportation Secretary to make the unused funds available for eligible surface transportation projects including highway transit passenger rail or port projects. In making the announcement President Obama said this is an effort to create jobs by making use of these idle funds.