By Dr. Alison Premo Black, chief economist, ARTBA

States obligated a total of $4.3 billion in federal-aid highway construction funds in March, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT). This brings the total amount obligated through the first half of the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2019, to $15.6 billion. This accounts for 37 percent of the total formula amount available.

In addition to the FAST Act, Congress provided additional highway program funding as part of the appropriations process in FY 2018, 2019 and 2020. This includes nearly $8 billion in state formula funds and $3.4 billion in discretionary BUILD grants, administered by the U.S. DOT.

States are expected to continue to obligate and award projects using federal-aid dollars, despite the impact of COVID-19. Under the FAST Act, states must obligate their federal funds by the end of the fiscal year. For the additional appropriations, states have four years to obligate the funds. At the end of FY 2019, states have obligated $1.8 billion—31 percent of the FY 2018 and FY 2019 total.

ARTBA is closely monitoring transportation market data through our new Transportation Construction Market Intelligence Service, providing the most up-to-date analysis available.