State governments have three years to decide how they will disburse their share of the $2.1 billion of previously earmarked but unused highway project funds in the possession of the Federal Highway Administration. A 2016 omnibus for the disbursement of these funds with the condition that they be spent on public works projects within 50 miles of the original earmarked projects.
Brian Deery,, senior director of the Associated General Contractors of America’s highway and transportation division, spoke with the Engineering News-Record as to why the earmarks go unused and why they are being dispersed:
Deery told the ENR, "They’ve tried to clear the books [on unused earmarks] a couple of times over the years and they always get pushback from states and from members of Congress... So this was a way of kind of making everybody happy."