March 26, 2014 Edition

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AHTD suspends
Hwy. 63 project

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department recently withdrew 10 construction projects from its planned list of projects scheduled for award in April as a result of the uncertainty of Federal-aid reimbursements available from the Federal Highway Trust Fund.

One of the projects being held up is the widening of 1.5 miles of Highway 63 through Portia and extending towards Black Rock.

The United State Department of Transportation has projected that the Federal Highway Trust Fund will run short of funds as early as July of this year without Congressional action. Because of this uncertainty, the AHTD has evaluated State and Federal funding that will be available and reduced the number of construction projects planned because of the possible inability of the Federal Highway Trust Fund to provide timely and full reimbursements to Arkansas.

"Based on our evaluation, if we execute all contracts that are scheduled for the April letting, the department may not have adequate funds to ensure full payments to contractors during this period of reduced Federal reimbursements," states ATHD Director Scott Bennett.

An evaluation of scheduled federally funded projects will occur prior to each department letting until Congress acts to correct the funding shortfall. Letting dates in 2014 are scheduled for April 16, June 4, July 23, Sept. 17, Nov. 5 and Dec. 17.

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