DOT's stimulus payouts reach $26.7 billion

(The following appeared on The Journal of Commerce website on March 23, 2011.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. The Department of Transportation is pushing more stimulus money out to states to reimburse them for completed infrastructure projects, with total payouts reaching nearly $26.7 billion as of March 11.

That's up from $26.5 billion on March 4 and $26.3 billion Feb. 25, reflecting DOT payments totaling nearly $200 million in each of the past two weeks. From Feb. 28 through March 11, the DOT paid out $521 million in stimulus project reimbursements, according to the Obama administration's Recovery.gov Web site.

In all, the DOT had $48 billion to spend from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, so it has more than $21 billion left to pay out. Through March 11, it had obligated over $44.7 billion to back active or planned projects, leaving more than $3 billion yet to lock down.

However, those totals will soon change to reflect a new grant implementing agreement signed this week between North Carolina's Department of Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway, Amtrak and other parties. That allows the state to spend $461 million on grant projects under the administration's intercity passenger rail program, much of it to improve tracks in a key corridor used by NS for intermodal service, and will push the DOT's total of obligated ARRA funds up to $45.2 billion.

In addition, the DOT recently offered up $2.43 billion in unused passenger rail funds for new project bids, with most of that money coming from stimulus grants rejected by Florida. Applicants have until April 4 to send in their requests, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the DOT will quickly decide how to allocate those funds.

The full story is at www.joc.com.

Thursday, March 24, 2011
bentley@ble-t.org

http://www.ble-t.org/pr/news/headline.asp?id=32474

© 1997-2019 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen
http://www.ble-t.org