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Mendez discusses trust fund

WASHINGTON — Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez told state highway officials July 28 what to expect if the highway trust fund falls short in the coming weeks during a “no surprises” discussion.

“Unless we shore up the trust fund, we will have no other choice than to pay the states less frequently for road and bridge repairs,” Mendez said in a conference call with lead officials from 38 states and the District of Columbia. Mendez added that payments, currently made on a daily basis, could be made weekly or twice a month, depending upon the availability of funds.

The highway trust fund, which provides states about $40 billion each year for roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects administered by the states, often fluctuates and is expected to drop by the end of August. A shortfall would not shut down the Federal-Aid Highway Program, nor would it prevent states from using federal dollars for highway projects. However, it would affect how quickly FHWA reimburses states.

Department of Transportation officials continue to work closely with Congress to prevent disruptions in payments to the states.

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