Strain On Federal Highway Fund Colors Minnesota Roads Debate
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A slowing flow of money from Washington for highway construction is putting strain on road-building budgets of Minnesota and other states.
Reports show the total amount of money available to all states from the Federal Highway Trust Fund has declined 3.5 percent during the five-year period ending in 2013, the latest year of complete data. In Minnesota, the drop is even more severe but there's more to the story.
The 2007 collapse and swift rebuild of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis caused Minnesota's federal highway grants to top $1 billion, but allocations have steadily receded since.
As costs increase for building and repairing roads, Minnesota officials face a choice: scale back construction programs or turn inward for money to narrow the gap.