DOT Stimulus Payouts Hit $10 Billion

DOT Stimulus Payouts Hit $10 Billion

The Department of Transportation has paid out $10 billion to states for highway repairs and other transport project work completed under last year’s stimulus package to shore up the economy.

The DOT also reported through the Recovery.gov Web site that it has made nearly $38 billion available to states, backing ongoing projects and allowing more to be planned. It disburses the funds once work is completed.

By far most of the DOT money under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act goes through the Federal Highway Administration, which first pushed states to perform “shovel-ready” repairs that could quickly put people to work last summer, and then moved into new projects that can take years to complete.

FHWA said it has obligated nearly $27 billion for specific projects, 2,200 of which have already been finished with 8,000 now under way and more to come.

Some of the stimulus money has also gone into airport improvements and transit systems.

In addition, the DOT recently announced a list of passenger rail projects that can tap into $8 billion in stimulus money, over half of which will go into shared rail system improvements on tracks owned by freight railroads. It also awarded $1.5 billion in discretionary stimulus grants fund to aid 51 projects around the nation, with the top three targeted at rail intermodal efficiencies and about half of the total having at least some freight benefits.

The department said that as of March 19 it had disbursed $9.98 billion in ARRA funds, up from $9.4 billion at the end of February. Since its weekly disbursements are at least $150 million, that would mean by the end of March the total payouts would have gone well over $10 billion.

Contact John D. Boyd at jboyd@joc.com.