As Eric The Younger mentioned yesterday, the federal transportation bill is up for renewal next September. Some are warning of a transportation “fiscal cliff” and yesterday Keith Golden, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation had this to say on the subject:
Golden spoke Tuesday to the Rotary Club of Dalton, where he warned the agency does face a major funding issue in 2015 if Congress does not pass another transportation bill. Previous federal transportation bills have not expired for five or six years after their passage, but the current transportation bill, passed in 2012, expires on Sept. 30, 2014.
“People say there’s no chance Congress won’t pass a transportation bill by then. Well, our job is to let them know what will happen if they don’t,” Golden said.
He said that without a new transportation bill GDOT will have no new federal authorizations for construction projects in 2015.
“We couldn’t do any design work. We couldn’t buy any right of way. We couldn’t start any new construction projects. We would continue with the projects that are already underway, but no new projects,” he said.
Absent a new bill, the money for new construction would resume in 2016 but at a much lower level.
Golden pointed out the federal gas tax does not meet the nation’s transportation budget and the Georgia DOT relies on the federal government for about 80% of their funding.