Money issues put Nebraska road work on hold

| 11/8/2007

The outlook for new road construction next year in Nebraska is grim unless the state is able to come up with more money. The state is expected to get $114 million less in federal aid.

Officials with the Nebraska Department of Roads expect $270 million in federal funding in fiscal year 2009 – down from about $384 million. They are working on determining how much the agency can do with that expected revenue, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

Unless the state can come up with additional state funding, the budget will focus on paying for road and bridge maintenance. Some funds would be earmarked to continue widening Interstate 80 between Lincoln and Omaha.

New road construction would be put on hold.

Legislative leaders, however, aren’t giving up on new funding. Sen. Deb Fischer of Valentine, chairwoman of the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee, is working on different revenue options for roads, the Journal Star reported.

Fischer held off on mentioning specifics until after she has time to talk with other state lawmakers and Gov. Dave Heineman.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Nebraska in 2007, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor