Highway funds expected to last into next summer

By |  September 9, 2015

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) updated its Highway Trust Fund ticker to report that the federal government is unlikely to run out of money for infrastructure projects until June 2016.

Congress passed an $8 billion Highway Trust Fund extension in July. DOT now says those funds should cover payments to states for transportation projects until the third quarter of the 2016 fiscal year, according to The Hill.

The extension had originally been expected to provide infrastructure funding until December 2015. Transportation officials now think the money can be stretched through the winter season as construction slows down.

DOT reports that many of the programs funded by the Highway Trust Fund are only authorized through Oct. 29. Congress still has to pass an extension of the federal policy that authorizes transportation spending by that date.

The policy authorization expiration date and the Highway Trust Fund’s projected expiration date coincided in July, forcing lawmakers to approve the $8 billion measure for infrastructure. The Hill speculates that the remaining funds may prompt lawmakers to pass another temporary extension of federal highway funding instead of passing a multiyear transportation bill, which transportation advocates have sought for years.

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