Congress is working on several bills that would provide transportation money that could be spent quickly and protect and produce jobs. Under the proposals, the Washington region would receive approximately:
Virginia: $700 million to $800 million
Maryland: $600 million to $700 million
The District: $120 million
Metro: $315 million
To avoid politically radioactive earmarks, the bills would distribute the money using existing federal funding formulas. Under those formulas, 25 percent of general transportation funds would go to urban areas; 75 percent would be spent by state departments of transportation. In addition, Metro would receive its own funds.
Because Congress wants the money to be spent quickly -- in 150 to 180 days, depending on the proposal -- state transportation officials said most of the funds will go to maintaining roadways and bridges, not major new projects. Metro would spend the money on renovations to station platforms and bus garages and for chemical attack sensors.
All the projects would have to be approved by regional metropolitan planning organizations such as the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
-- Eric M. Weiss
SOURCES: Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and Metro