No Congress deal, road jobs halt, state says
Work now being done on 131 federally funded road and bridge construction projects in Arkansas worth $1.5 billion would cease if congressional authorization for transportation funding expired May 31 without a new deal, according to state highway officials.
Scott Bennett, the director of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, made the assertion in a news release his agency issued Tuesday, one day after U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx warned Bennett and other state transportation directors that the Federal Highway Administration would begin furloughing employees and thus be unable to process state requests for reimbursements on federal-aid projects if Congress were unable to reach a deal by the end of the month.
"We knew this would happen if Congress did not take appropriate action in time," Bennett said in the release. "Although we have been preparing for reductions or delays in Federal-aid reimbursements, we now have to consider the impacts of a complete FHWA shut-down."