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Highway Markets Get First Injection of Stimulus Funds

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The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has released $27.5 billion in highway aid contained in the recently enacted economic stimulus package. President Obama announced DOT’s action on March 3, one day after the Federal Highway Administration formally apportioned $26.66 billion of the highway stimulus funds among the states. FHWA’s apportionment came eight days earlier than the deadline set by the stimulus measure, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The first contract—$2.1 million—was awarded to American Infrastructure, Worcester, Pa., to grind, patch and resurface a 1.1-mile section of Route 650 in Silver Spring, Md. State highway departments say they have identified more than 100 projects on which construction can begin within 30 days. FHWA must approve each project proposed to receive stimulus money. Governors are required to certify that the stimulus funds won’t just substitute for state funds. Under the legislation, federal funds can cover up to 100% of a project’s cost. Besides the $26.7 billion apportioned to the states, the stimulus also provides $550 million for highways on federal lands and Indian reservations.

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