Local & Regional
Sat June 20, 2009
Road Work Ahead
By Associated Press
Oklahoma City, OK – Transportation official urges action on road fund
TULSA, Okla. (AP) Oklahoma's top transportation official has urged members of Congress to develop a permanent solution for funding for the federal highway fund, warning them they risk delaying projects if they don't do so.
State Transportation Secretary Gary Ridley tells the Tulsa World's Washington bureau that uncertainty about the highway fund causes "distress" to states in their efforts to develop long-term plans for projects.
Earlier this month, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood proposed that the current transportation legislation, which expires in the fall, be immediately extended by 18 months, during which time the Highway Trust Fund could be revitalized.
LaHood's proposal likely derailed efforts to push a six-year, $450 billion proposal in the U.S. House, and Ridley conceded as much.
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma says he will propose using interest on funds transferred from the trust find during the 1990s to shore up the fund now.
He says that would give the trust fund another $13 billion to $17 billion.
Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.