Nat’l Highway Fund Set to Expire, Local Construction Workers Worried

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Politicians say a federal fund is close to expiring putting thousands of jobs and hundreds of construction projects in jeopardy.

“This issue effects all of us,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D, “It should be a no brainer. What could be controversial about extending the authority for the highway trust fund?”

She says political gridlock has the fund set to expire in 4 days.  It helps states pay for construction projects.

Currently, the Highway Trust Fund is running annual deficits. That’s because it relies on you filling up and the more energy efficient we become the less money it receives. Republicans and Democrats have both said they’d like a long-term solution, but can’t agree to one.  Some construction workers in the state are worried.

“You’re traveling over some of the most heavily traveled structurally deficient bridges in the United States, you can’t see them when you drive over them and you can’t feel it, but they’re out there,” said Ct Construction Industries Association Pres. Don Shubert.

Shubert says if this fund expires, it could halt hundreds of projects in the state and impact nearly 10,000 jobs.

“You can’t find a construction company that’s going to go out and buy new equipment or invest in its company or invest in its people or plan for the future when you have absolutely no idea what Congress is going to do with transportation funding,” said Shubert.

DeLauro says if the deficit is the issue there are places to cut, but this fund is vital.

DeLauro said, “We can cut in a lot of places. We can cut subsidies that go to the oil and gas industry. We can cut agricultural subsidies. We can take a look at closing down the special interest tax loopholes.”

If it’s not reauthorized, Delauro says the fund could dry up by the end of July.

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