Meanwhile, the federal fund for road-building is running on empty, so Washington is reneging on some big-dollar promises. This will cost North Carolina $249 million.
The Federal Highway Trust Fund, fueled mostly with a gas and diesel tax that has not been increased since 1992, is low on dough. Inflation has eaten up the value of each tax penny we pay at the pump, and we've cut back our driving so much that the government collects less of that money than it did in the past.
So the Federal Highway Administration plans to rescind its promise of funds the states had expected to receive on Sept. 30 -- a total rescission of $8.7 billion nationwide, according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. This comes on top of $16.5 billion in previoius rescissions over the past few years.
Unless Congress comes up with the money and cancels the rescission, the FHWA move will cost North Carolina $249.2 million in road and bridge money it had expected to receive this fall.