Federal Funding For RI Transportation Projects May Soon Dry Up

Jul 4, 2014

The Federal Highway Trust Fund is struggling to stay afloat in the face of dwindling funds and partisan gridlock in Washington.  That means the federal government will delay reimbursing Rhode Island and other states for transportation projects starting August 1st.

The federal government may not be able to fully reimburse Rhode Island and other states for transportation projects beginning in August, said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said states will face a 28 percent drop in federal funding for road repairs, maintenance, and infrastructure developments.  Foxx met with the Rhode Island congressional delegation to discuss the challenge, and didn't mince words when he spoke at the Statehouse.

"In a state like Rhode Island, where a third of your bridges are functionally obsolete, this is not something you can afford; no state can.  To fix those bridges is cheaper this year than they'll be next year, or the year after, and the longer we wait, the more expensive our infrastructure deficit becomes," said Foxx.

The Secretary also warned that the uncertainty surrounding federal reimbursements may stunt future economic development in the state.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic?  Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org