DOT Stimulus Payouts Near $28 Billion

DOT Stimulus Payouts Near $28 Billion

Department of Transportation payouts to states for infrastructure projects from the 2009 stimulus law reached $27.8 billion as of April 29, with $655 million of that coming since the end of March. 

That payout total is also up about $3 billion since the beginning of 2011, providing a sizable injection of project money to replenish transportation accounts that are running low in many states.

The DOT has yet to disburse $20 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The department received $48.1 billion to spend on highways, airports, passenger rail grants, which also boost freight rail lanes, and a discretionary grant fund, from which the DOT included awards to freight railroads, roads used by truckers, ports and marine highway programs.

Under the ARRA’s terms, the DOT pays out final expenses to states after a project is completed and the costs verified. By far most of the money went to road and bridge projects overseen through the Federal Highway Administration. It obligated nearly $27 billion to 13,300 projects from repaving to entirely new structures, about 8,000 have already been completed and more than 5,000 are under way.

Out of $8 billion in stimulus funds for the administration’s signature expansion of intercity passenger rail, most has now been awarded to specific projects although some of them still need final implementing agreements to be locked in before the money is officially obligated.

This week, the DOT issued $2 billion in rail grants, from the ARRA along with some funds approved in the 2010 federal budget. Many of the rail projects are just getting started, so the DOT will reimburse those ARRA project funds over the next year or more.

In all, the DOT formally obligated $45.5 billion of its ARRA funds through April 29, with the rest mainly waiting on rail grant decisions.

-- Contact John D. Boyd at jboyd@joc.com. Follow him on Twitter @jboydjoc.