The New Hampshire Department of Transportation has announced that $25 million in summer construction projects will be delayed until 2015 due to uncertainty regarding the federal Highway Trust Fund, which is set to drop below a critical funding threshold by August, and in danger of running dry before September without an act of Congress.
Congresswoman Annie Kuster, D-NH, who has introduced the DRIVE Now Act (Deficit Reduction for Infrastructure, Value, and Efficiency Now Act) to replenish the Trust Fund and allow construction to go on, issued a statement on July 1.
“I’m very disappointed to learn that the New Hampshire Department of Transportation is being forced to push $25 million worth of summer construction projects back until next year due to uncertainty regarding the Highway Trust Fund,” Kuster said.
“The Highway Trust Fund helps states complete much-needed road and infrastructure repairs, and here in New Hampshire these projects are vital to the safety of Granite State drivers. What’s more, our construction workers rely on these jobs during the busy summer construction season, so delaying these projects will hurt both our public safety and our state’s economy.”
In May Kuster introduced H.R. 4601, the DRIVE Now Act, which would ensure that the Highway Trust Fund remains solvent for the remainder of the fiscal year. The Trust Fund, which provides crucial funding to states for transportation and infrastructure projects like the I-93 expansion is expected to drop below a critical funding threshold by August.
Under the DRIVE Now Act, a one-time payment of $5 billion to the Highway Trust Fund would be made to pay for transportation projects for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2014, which ends September 30, 2014, and allow time for Congress to pass a reauthorization to surface transportation programs.