Because of WSDOT's strong financial and construction program management and planning, we're able to withstand this funding interruption in the short term. Here's Sec. Hammond's new release:
Sec. Hammond calls for quick action extending Highway Trust FundContact: Lloyd Brown, WSDOT Communications - 360-705-7076
Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond today urged Congress to move quickly to extend the current Highway Trust Fund authorization to avoid layoffs and project shutdowns.
“At a time when transportation investments are seen as one of the best economic recovery tools the failure of reenactment of the highway trust fund is unacceptable. Our state transportation system relies on federal gas tax funds for basic preservation of our highways bridges and ferries, as well as transit infrastructure investments,” said Secretary Hammond.
SAFETEA-LU, the federal transportation funding act, expired Sunday, Feb. 28 at midnight. Reimbursements from the Highway Trust Fund have been suspended while Congress works out an agreement to extend the act.
At stake are the federal funds which would reimburse Washington for money it already has spent on federally backed projects. States typically hire contractors to build projects. Contractors then submit invoices to states when the work is completed and the states then pay those bills. States then submit invoices to the federal government for reimbursement of the funds already sent to contractors. Delays in reimbursements would mean the states must have cash on hand to pay contractors.
Washington State was expected to receive approximately $13.5 million in federal reimbursements on Wednesday, March 3. WSDOT is reviewing the possible short and long-term funding ramifications.
“We appreciate the hard work and support of Washington’s federal delegation to get this issue resolved quickly. While we think we can manage this issue well in the short term, we remain very concerned about the long-term implications of this issue,” said Secretary Hammond.
Two King County area projects – Sunset Way Connection ($2.3 million in federal funds) in Issaquah and SR 516 paving near Covington ($1.9 million in federal funds) could have their advertisement to contractors delayed.
For more information, contact Lloyd Brown, communication director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-705-7076.