$19b. in DOT funds ready to go

Vice President Joe Biden will be in front of the Cabinet today and he’ll be reporting that more than half of the economic stimulus money set aside for highway projects has been allocated.

According to numbers from the Associated Press, $19 billion has been earmarked for 5,329 transportation projects nationwide. Of the over 5,000 projects, 1,900 have broken ground in the most economically stressed areas of the country.

A deadline of June 29 was given to all states and territories to identify half of their transportation spending needs, and Mr. Biden is also expected to say that deadline will be met a few days ahead of time.

But after examining Department of Transportation numbers, some areas have much bigger purses for their big-ticket items.

The five states with the most stimulus money (.pdf) for transportation projects include California (1), Texas (2), the District of Columbia (3), Florida (4) and Illinois (5). As of June 19, 2009, those states have obligated funds totaling $6.68 billion. However, only California (1), Texas (5), and Illinois (2) are also in the top five in terms of project count (.pdf). Indiana (3) and New York (4) have more projects in the works than Texas.

The District’s funds are inflated due to a $1.3 billion grant to AMTRACK. D.C. actually has about $123.5 million coming to it for transportation projects. Meanwhile, the state with the most inexpensive per project ratio is North Dakota whose projects are topping out at just under $1 million per.

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