Congress passes three-week highway funding fix

Traffic on I-75 as seen from Allgood Road, south of the I-575 merge on Aug. 19, 2014. Credit Bob Andres AJC bandres@ajc.com

Traffic on I-75 as seen from Allgood Road, south of the I-575 merge on Aug. 19, 2014. Credit Bob Andres AJC bandres@ajc.com

Congress on Wednesday approved legislation that extends funding for federal highway and transportation programs for three weeks, giving themselves more breathing room to craft a long-term solution to the ongoing transportation funding crisis.

Lawmakers were under the gun to do something, since the latest of more than 30 such short-term extensions was set to expire Thursday. The new Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 will expire Nov. 20.

However, it’s unclear if the vote will come in time to reverse Georgia’s plan to delay millions of dollars worth of road and bridge projects that had been scheduled to go out for bid in December. The 34 projects are worth $123 million.

Russell McMurry, the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation, said last week that unless Congress acted within days, delaying the projects was unavoidable because the state would not be reimbursed by the USDOT in November for federally funded transportation projects undertaken in Georgia.

We reached out to the Georgia DOT Wednesday afternoon to get an update in light of the bill’s passage and will add information to this blog post as soon as it becomes available.

For a complete list of delayed projects, click here.

To see the updated Highway Trust Fund Ticker, click here.

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