Clamoring for Highway Funds

States ready to go forward with highway projects are seeing equally eager construction companies put in bids as low as 50% below budget, and far ahead of schedule.

"The California Department of Transportation, which is expected to get more than $2.5 billion in stimulus funds for highways, is "darn close to digging holes," said Douglas Failing, Caltrans' director for Los Angeles and Ventura counties. He said the agency plans to spend $189 million to improve the 405 Freeway, mostly by building a long-sought carpool lane on the northbound side through the Sepulveda Pass. Caltrans hopes to award a contract by the end of the month, with work beginning about mid-May."

"Los Angeles County expects to receive $450 million for highways under the stimulus for transportation projects, a chunk of which will go to the cities.

John Horsley, executive director of the American Assn. of State Highway and Transportation Officials, said state highway departments have been gearing up for federal spending ever since summer, when then-presidential candidates Obama and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) began talking about the need for further stimulus."

Full Story: Highway projects 'ahead of schedule and under budget,' Obama says

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