Highway spending through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was up 40 percent in March versus February. While this was consistent with expectations, it is good news nonetheless to see that more of the money is being spent, right? It’s also worth noting that approximately $5 billion in stimulus funds have been committed to road construction projects that tend to favor cement as the paving material of choice, such as new route construction and road-widening projects.
Total spending from the stimulus bill was $552 million in March versus $395 million in February. As of the end of March, 26.2 percent of total ARRA funds have been dispersed, according to the Federal Highway Administration. To meet the final spending deadline of February 17, 2012, ARRA outlays must average $801 million each month.
The largest increase in state spending was in Florida, where spending jumped by 45.9 percent compared with February levels. The second largest increase took place in California at 28.8 percent, followed by Georgia at 20.1 percent. Utah continues to lead all states in stimulus funds spent, followed by Maine and Texas. The states that have spent the least thus far are Virginia and Hawaii.
A recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office estimated that 69.4 percent of the total highway funds from ARRA have been committed to pavement-related projects. As a portion of these pavement funds, higher cement-intensity construction for higher density roads and new routes represents 30.5 percent of what has been committed – for a total of $5 billion. Approximately 12.8 percent of total highway stimulus funds have been committed to construction of bridge projects, according to GAO figures.
For more details on ARRA spending please read the latest Flash Report from PCA.