Highway Stimulus Funding Expected to Have Effect into 2012

Although not enough to offset revenues losses to the Transportation Trust Fund, Michael Dresser, of the Baltimore Sun, reports that effects of the federal stimulus funds for highway projects will be felt into 2012.

The economic impact of the $317 million in Maryland highway spending financed by the stimulus is expected to linger through next year and into 2012. State officials hope the flow of money will taper off just as transportation revenue begins to bounce back from years of recession that have forced severe cutbacks in construction.

It wasn’t enough to make up for the revenue loss that has drained the state’s Transportation Trust Fund during the recession. According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, stimulus funds other than competitive grants replaced only 30 percent of the roughly $2 billion in transportation projects that had to be cut from the state’s capital program.

Apart from grants, stimulus funding on transportation amounts to $638 million, including transit and other projects as well as highways. Another large portion has come in the form of $101 million won in competitive grants for projects including improvements at BWI Marshall Airport, the port of Baltimore and water taxi facilities in the Inner Harbor.

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