Anthony Foxx, the US secretary of state for transportation, has said that the Highway Trust Fund that pays for road works funded by the federal government will begin bouncing cheques in August.Â
The prospect has prompted President Obama to warn that 700,000 workers will lose their livelihoods as a result of what he said is inaction on the part of Congress. Legislators have not yet agreed to provide emergency funding to keep the fund going until May, although a bill is presently passing through the House.Â
Foxx welcomed the bill, but added: "A short-term solution is still insufficient to solve our crisis." The fund been on the edge of bankruptcy since 2008, and has been kept going through a series of temporary patches.
Obama is pressing for an $302bn bill to renew America’s infrastructure, but as yet there is no consensus in the US political establishment over where the money for the programme will come from.Â
Foxx said the state of US infrastructure was becoming critical. He said: "A third of all major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. We face more than $86bn in backlogged transit maintenance. As many as 100,000 bridges are old enough for Medicare."
Citing a decade of information from the World Economic Forum, Foxx said the country’s infrastructure was rated as being inferior to Barbados, "a country with one airport".