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Government and Politics

Federal highway trust fund is running out of cash
Ohio contractors say the fund is crucial for Ohio projects

Karen Kasler
Contractors say Ohio needs the federal highway fund.
Courtesy of Kyle May
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In The Region:

As road construction season gets underway in Ohio, some in the industry are worried about the flow of money from the federal government to help pay for the projects drivers will see next year. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

LISTEN: Ohio contractors on the highway fund

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The federal Highway Trust Fund is going broke. Chris Runyan is president of the Ohio Contractors Association, and he says that fund is helping ODOT with this year’s $2.4 billioncapital program.

“Nearly a billion of that this year is going to be contributed through federal funding.” 

Transit groups nationwide are saying that if Congress doesn’t fix the federal trust fund’s financial situation by Oct. 1, there won’t be enough money to go ahead with next year’s projects – including finishing multi-year projects that have already been started.

The money for the fund comes from gasoline taxes, and it’s unlikely those would be raised in an election year – if at all. The Obama administration has suggested a $300 billion plan to change corporate tax laws and close loopholes, but lawmakers could also dip into the treasury for short-term funding.

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