Serving northeast missouri counties
MoDOT Update – deputy director/chief engineer Ed Hassinger
1 As explained by ConstructionDive, an industry monitor – The extension of the FAST Act that Congress passed Sept. 30 contained a $13.6 billion infusion to prop up highway and transit funding. But a 72-day continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown that was paired with the year-long FAST Act extension only runs through Dec. 11, at which point Congress will need to act again to keep dollars flowing.
That means, in the interim, only about 19% of the approved highway funds can actually be released to state Departments of Transportation. The result is that while states can now have a number to budget to for their proposed highway projects in 2021, they can only spend dollars on jobs — and start paying contractors — that are below that 19% threshold, according to Jay Hansen, executive vice president, advocacy, at the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA).
The bottom line is that state DOTs — and the road builders that contract with them — are still only guaranteed a sliver of that multi-billion dollar spending package, until the lame-duck Congress picks up the debate again after the Nov. 3 election to either pass a new, bigger highway spending bill, or another continuing resolution to greenlight dollars to be spent for a few more months.
“The job’s not complete,” said Hansen. “Getting the FAST Act extension is a big deal, no doubt. But real dollars have to come with it, and Congress only gave us 72 days’ worth of dollars. We need 365 days of dollars.”