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MADISON, Wis. -Funding for state highway projects, including the Verona Road interchange could be in jeopardy if Congress does not act, according to a group holding a news conference Monday.
Contractors, building trades organization, and Congressman Mark Pocan have scheduled an afternoon news conference to discuss the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund, where federal funding comes from for major highway projects. The Obama Administration warned last week that the fund was close to going broke, and that Congress needed to act by the end of August to fund existing highway projects. According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Wisconsin stands to lose $726.2 million in federal highway funding if the federal government doesn't meet it's obligations.
The trust fund is funded through an 18.4 cent gas tax, but has been decreasing because of improving fuel efficiency of vehicles.
James Hoffman, president of Hoffman Construction, who is currently a main contractor on the Verona Road interchange project, called the impending funding issue "a disaster on the way to happening." Hoffman said more than half of highway program funds come from the federal government, and the state may need to start deciding which projects to fund if money runs out.
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