The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Dept. says its $1.1 billion worth of ready-to-go projects is a result of a historic �short end of the stick.� Some of the projects have been waiting for funding since 1999.
“If we’re near the top of this list, that just means we’re near the bottom of the list of states having the money for building these projects,” says ASHTD spokesman Glenn Bolick. “We passed a $1-billion interstate rehabilitation program in 1999, then ran out of money about five years later when there were still a handful of projects left to build. So, in reality some of these projects should have been completed years ago.”
In January the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials asked state highway departments to compile a list of projects that would be “ready to go” in 90 days, then later amended its request to include projects that could be obligated in 180 days. ASHTD released the latest version of its list earlier this month.
“This is a shot in the arm that would get more projects that we have ready to go into the construction cycle,” Bolick says. “But even if President-elect Obama wasn’t talking about a stimulus package, we would still have 130 projects worth $1.1 billion ready to go. We just couldn’t hope to have the money to build them.”