CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Highways is waiting on Congress to decide the next step for the Federal Highway Trust Fund that will be insolvent Aug. 1 if nothing is done.
The U.S. House supports a plan that would provide $10.8 billion in funding through May 31, 2015 and the U.S. Senate is reportedly close to supporting a similar plan.
“We don’t know where that’s going to end up, but the fact that everybody is talking now is a good sign and we hope that we won’t see August 1st with this Highway Trust Fund becoming insolvent,” state DOH spokesman Brent Walker said.
The DOH has already contacted the contractors on federal jobs letting them know they will reduce their payments Aug. 1 if there’s no congressional agreement.
“They would have the choice of receiving those reduced payments for the work they’ve done or they could choose to stop construction until the crisis is averted,” state Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox recently told MetroNews.
Walker said everyone involved has had to come up with a game plan.
“They would have to determine how far they could work—whether it’s for free or pennies on the dollar,” he said.
There are 203 federal funded highway projects currently taking place in West Virginia.