Funding Shortfall Puts $300 Million in Mass DOT Projects On Hold

A transportation bond bill still wrapped up in committee is forcing the Massachusetts state highway division to put construction projects on hold.

"We're currently in a position where the state budget authority for transportation is probably going to run out of money by the end of February without the passage of a bond bill," said Highway Administrator Frank DePaola.

About three weeks ago the state DOT stopped advertising bids for state and federally funded projects -- though toll-funded projects and projects in the accelerated bridge program have a different funding scheme.

The state has already advertised about $609 million worth of work, in the form of 102 contracts, and only has the financing lined up to pay for about half of it. They're delaying all bid dates.

DePaola said he could advertise another 80 projects worth about $300 million between now and January, but completion would be contingent on legislative action.

(more on Massachusetts' transport-funding dilemna . . . )