In the proposed budget for FY09 (fiscal year starts in October) the Bush Administration has set highway
funding at US$39.4bn, which is US$1.8bn (c.4%) short of the proposal under SAFETEA-LU (the current multi-year highway programme) and the level enacted in FY08.
There were some fears that the cut could have been more severe given the state of the highway trust fund. However, this level of funding is supported by a transfer of $3.2bn from the highway trust fund’s mass transit account to the highway account. In terms of the latter, inflows are expected to fall $3.2bn short of the projected outlays, thereby highlighting the funding issues that need to be addressed, if the next multi-year highways programme is to be above current levels. It should be noted that the Administration’s proposal is not binding, but is the first step in the process. Robert Eason of brokers Goodbody in Ireland estimates that a third of CRH’s US operations are down to infrastructure developments.