President Obama and Transportation Secretary LaHood have announced that $27 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds are headed to states to provide critical repairs to our nation’s crumbling roads and bridges. The site www.recovery.gov provides information about how the funds are allocated.
Parts of the allocation are set aside to make sure that urban, suburban, and rural areas alike all get a share. But since local leaders—mayors and governors—know their communities best, much of the money is left to states’ discretion. And if states don’t use it, they lose it. To make sure that funds go out quickly to give our economy the jolt it needs, states have 120 days to assign the funds to specific projects.
The Department of Transportation is keeping an up to date list of all the specific transportation projects nationwide. To learn more about the specific projects planned in your area visit http://testimony.ost.dot.gov/ARRAcerts to see how funds are going to be apportioned to your state and to specific urban areas. This article [http://www.recovery.gov/?q=content/rebuilding-infrastructure] includes a map.
Highway infrastructure investments will not only be given to state-based projects. The ARRA also calls for investments in federal lands and capital expenditure projects such as park roads and parkways and ferry boat construction. The estimated fund distribution for these projects is detailed as follows:
- Capital Expenditures for Construction of Ferry Boats and Ferry Terminal Facilities under 23 U.S.C 147 – $60 Million; Highway surface transportation and technology training under 23 U.S.C. 140(b) – $20 Million; Disadvantaged business enterprises bonding assistance under Section 332(e) of Title 49 – $20 Million; and Funds Oversight – $40 Million.
- Indian Reservation Roads – $310 Million, Park Roads and Parkways – $170 Million, Forest Highway Program – $60 Million, Refuge Roads – $40 Million, Puerto Rico Highway Program – $105 Million and Territorial Highway Program – $45 Million.