WAMU 88.5 : News

Sequestration Cuts Could Affect Area Infrastructure Spending

Play associated audio
Sequestration cuts would affect road construction and infrastructure repair budgets.
Mylon Medley
Sequestration cuts would affect road construction and infrastructure repair budgets.

The roads, bridges, and rails that you commute on could be getting considerably less funding for repairs and improvements if automatic federal budget cuts take effect in January.

If Congress fails to pass a long-term deficit-reduction plan, the process know as sequestration takes effect. The highway trust fund would be exempt from cuts, but funds for infrastructure projects could dry up anyway. 

Fred Abouselman is executive director of the National Association of Regional Councils, a group that advocates cooperation among regional governments.  He says general fund revenues, often used to replenish the trust fund, would no longer be available, and the result would not be good for commuters.

"Less money to spend on improvements, more congestion, more potholes, maybe fewer trains, fewer bridges being repaired, fewer bridges being built," says Abouselman. "In general, we will see a continuing decline in both the state of our infrastructure and new infrastructure being built, a significant problem for our region."

He says important infrastructure projects in our region are already short of funds — sequestration would make the situation worse.

Experts also say that what major infrastructure projects local governments do tackle will likely be financed by borrowing, which will be made more expensive by sequestration.

NPR

Writing The Wicked Ways Of The 'Worst. Person. Ever.'

Raymond Gunt is profane, rude, heartless and truly the Worst. Person. Ever. Author Douglas Coupland says he's not exactly sure how the character, with no redeeming qualities, came into his mind.
NPR

Can Wal-Mart Really Make Organic Food Cheap For Everyone?

The giant retailer says it's adding a new line of organic food that's at least 25 percent cheaper. But a large-scale production and supply of organic food likely can't be achieved overnight.
NPR

Obama Adds Malaysia To His Asia Itinerary

Obama travels to Malaysia next week, where the government is under fire for the handling of a missing airliner. NPR's Wade Goodwyn talks to Joshua Kurlantzick of the Council on Foreign Relations.
NPR

Watch For The Blind Lets You Feel Time Passing

A new watch allows the blind to feel time on their wrists. Designer Hyungsoo Kim tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn his watch allows users to tell time accurately without revealing their disabilities.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.