L/SFR Sneak Preview: Transportation Funding a Mixed Bag

December 6, 2011 | By Adrianne Fielding | Post a Comment

(This post is excerpted from an article in the Dec. 12 issue of Local/State Funding Report.) The availability of federal transportation-related funding continues to be a mixed bag. On Nov. 28, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the distribution of more than $215 million in aid to 37 states and territories that have been impacted by a variety of natural disasters.

The emergency relief funding, administered through the Federal Highway Administration, will reimburse recipients for highway, bridge and other road repairs necessitated by severe storms, flooding, hurricanes and other disasters.

Upon announcing the allocations, LaHood said, “Communities suffering from disasters have been hard at work restoring vital transportation links so that people can resume daily activities as soon as possible. They did their part, and now it’s our turn to give the states the money they were promised to help pay for that work.”

While most of the funding was awarded in response to the deluge of natural disasters that occurred this year, other dollars reimbursed recipients for repairs and reconstruction related to events as far back as 1993.

The funding allocations ranged widely, from a high of $43,430,449 to California for a variety of disasters to a low of $132,409 to New Hampshire for repairs related to Tropical Storm Irene in August of this year.

The state of broader federal transportation funding, however, remains up in the air.  Although the House had been hoping to take up a long-term transportation bill before Congress recesses for the winter break, its overflowing legislative slate and the waning days of the current session simply made that an untenable possibility.

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