Houston Chronicle The Highwayman Blog 7/1/14 By Dug Begley

Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx informed state transportation officials across the country that a possible depletion of the Highway Trust Fund, predicted for late August, would force officials to change how money flows from Washington to the states. The trust fund has been on the verge of collapse occasionally for the past five years, but the situation has worsened. Payments to state transportation agencies will decline starting Aug. 1.
“There is still time for Congress to act on a long term solution,” Foxx said in a release. “Our transportation infrastructure is too essential to suffer continued neglect, and I hope Congress will avert this crisis before it is too late.”
Rather than repay money when states file requests for funds already spent, federal officials will dole out whatever money is coming into the trust fund from gas tax revenues, Foxx said. Money will be divided by the same formula used to spread highway money among the states in proportion to their population. Under that formula, Texas receives 8.77 percent of federal funds. In the current fiscal year, ending Sept. 30, that was estimated to be $3.33 billion.
Current projects will not be affected should federal money run dry, said Veronica Beyer, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Transportation.
“Thanks to the Texas Legislature, we have a tool that allows us to borrow money on a short-term basis during the continued instability of the federal Highway Trust Fund,” Beyer said in a statement. “TxDOT will continue progress on active projects.”
Incurring debt, however, can only get Texas so far, and delays in funding limit when the next round of construction begins.
“It’s imperative Congress enact a long-term solution to the looming federal funding situation,” Beyer said.
Read More