Highway Trust Fund shortage could cost Utah $400M

This photo taken April 14, 2014 shows Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx speaking to the media and local government officials about federal transportation funding at the Montgomery County Commissioner's office in Dayton, Ohio. On the road in a tour bus this week, Foxx is urging Congress to quickly approve legislation to pay for highway and transit programs amid warnings that the U.S. government’s Highway Trust Fund is nearly broke. If allowed to run dry, that could threaten to set back or shut down projects across the country, force widespread layoffs of construction workers and delay needed repairs and improvements. (AP Photo/Skip Peterson)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — An advocacy group for transportation spending says Utah could lose more than $400 million in federal money for highways and mass transit next year if Congress doesn’t act quickly to prop up the Highway Trust Fund.

Transportation for America says in a new report that if Congress doesn’t pass a new transportation bill, it will create a $47 billion hole in state and local budgets nationwide for projects scheduled to begin next year.

The nonpartisan group issued the study as the Obama administration sent to Congress Tuesday a four-year, $304 billion transportation bill intended to fix the trust fund that provides most U.S. transportation funding.

Utah Department of Transportation spokesman John Gleason told The Salt Lake Tribune the agency is optimistic the budget negotiations won’t force any project delays.

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