Highway spending from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) totaled $415 million in September, a 28.7 percent decline from the August spending rate and a 67 percent decline from last year’s levels, according to a PCA report. Through September approximately 81 percent of stimulus highway funds have been dispersed, compared to 79.5 percent at the end of August.
Oklahoma (99.2 percent), South Dakota (99.1 percent), and Wyoming (98.4 percent) have spent the largest share of their allocated funds. Twenty-three states have spent more than 90 percent of their funds, compared to seven at the start of the year. Hawaii (44.8 percent) has spent the least amount of funds, followed by Virginia (48.2 percent). The five largest cement-consuming states have 26.6 percent of their stimulus funds available—down from 28.4 percent last month.
Many transportation officials appear unwilling to commit to large infrastructure projects until they know there is federal commitment backing the funding. Although SAFETEA-LU received a six-month extension at current spending levels, it does not improve the uncertainty surrounding the next generation highway bill. Additionally, ambiguity continues to surround the proposed American Jobs Act, which would allocate $50 billion in stimulus funding towards infrastructure improvement.