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.


Reading Gaol, Where Oscar Wilde Was Imprisoned, Unlocks Its Gates For Art

In 1895, Wilde was convicted of homosexual activity and sentenced to two years Reading Gaol. Built in the mid-1800s, the facility was operational until 2013. Now, it's hosting an unusual art exhibit.

Trick Or Treat? Critics Blast Big Soda's Efforts To Fend Off Taxes

Several U.S. cities have sugary drink taxes on the ballot. As efforts to reduce soda consumption gain traction around the world, critics say the industry is using the tobacco playbook to fight back.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - October 21, 2016

Virginia’s online voter registration will be extended after a system crash. Montgomery County keeps Marriott headquarters local with big incentives. And Washington D.C. dukes it out with Washington state over their shared moniker.


Tesla Has Begun Making All Its New Cars Self-Driving

Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, says once the technology is fully enabled, the cars will be able to drive with no human input. Musk says previously built Teslas can't be retrofitted with the latest features.

Leave a Comment

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