New AASHTO chief tells of shutdown’s growing impact on DOTs

The partial shutdown of the federal government has led to some departments of transportation to curtail planning for new projects, according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

As the shutdown over border wall funding enters its third week, other impacts include several mass transit systems that have been left scrambling, according to a story in the AASHTO Journal.

State transportation and transit agencies often rely on federal grants for both operating revenues and capital funding.

AASHTO’s new executive director, Jim Tymon, explains in the article that since the 115th Congress did not pass Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations for seven of the 12 annual spending bills – including the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development or THUD package – states to date are limited to only about a quarter of the federal funding they are scheduled to receive this year.

He stresses, however, that the U.S. Department of Transportation employees paid out of the Highway Trust Fund – including all Federal Highway Administration employees – are reporting to duty with pay as usual and that FHWA is able to continue reimbursing states for projects approved prior to the shutdown.