WKU Public Radio News Staff
Wed June 11, 2014
Federal Funding Uncertain for Kentucky Road Projects
Road construction projects in Kentucky and the rest of the country will be in jeopardy if Congress doesn’t find a way to replenish the national Highway Trust Fund.
The fund, which reimburses states for transportation costs, is expected to dry up by late summer. As a precaution, Transportation Cabinet Spokesman Chuck Wolfe says Kentucky has delayed the start of some projects.
"We had about $195 million worth of contracting work that we would have advertised for bids last month, but did not do so," comments Wolfe.
The Highway Trust Fund has always been funded by the federal gasoline tax, but Congress hasn’t raised the tax since 1993. Inflation has increased the cost of construction and cars have become more fuel efficient, resulting in shortfalls in the fund.
Wolfe says in the past Congress has tapped into other sources of taxpayer dollars, but has been reluctant in doing so.