Just 3% of US road funding requests granted

19 August 2011

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has granted US$ 417 million to fund road building and maintenance projects throughout the country.

But while the grant is a welcome development amid the US's budgetary constraints, the funds will only reach a fraction of the projects that applied for transportation investment.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states to apply in June for federal funding from 14 grant programs and received more than 1800 applications from across the US, totalling nearly US$ 13 billion - more than 30 times the funds available.

"The demand from the states for these funds shows just how critical the need is for infrastructure investment," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.

The projects to be funded include a US$ 3.8 million plan to replace the Pecos Street Bridge over Interstate-70 in northern Colorado and a US$ 3.8 million grant to improve the I-40/I-77 interchange near Statesville, in the north-west of North Carolina.

The funds will also be invested in road widening and resurfacing projects throughout the US as well as research into efficient construction techniques.

Federal Highway administrator Victor Mendez said, "The list of state highway projects in need of financial help grows almost daily. We are glad to see these funds put to use but recognise there is still much to do to meet America's transportation needs."

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