US to unlock unspent infrastructure funds

The Obama administration moved Friday to boost construction jobs by making more than USD470 million in unspent infrastructure funds available to state governments.

Washington: The Obama administration moved Friday to boost construction jobs by making more than USD470 million in unspent infrastructure funds available to state governments.

The move to free up the unspent funds, known as earmarks, is aimed at creating work for the hundreds of thousands of construction workers suffering from the US' anemic economy, reported Xinhua.

Effective Friday, transportation departments in all states would have the ability to use their unspent earmarked highway funds, some of which were nearly 10-years old, on any eligible highway, passenger rail or port project, a White House statement said.

"My administration will continue to do everything we can to put Americans back to work. We're not going to let politics stand between construction workers and good jobs repairing our roads and bridges," President Barack Obama said.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said: "We are freeing up these funds so states can get down to the business of moving transportation projects forward and putting our friends and neighbours back to work."

About USD473 million in highway earmarks from the 2003 fiscal year to the 2006 fiscal year remain unspent.

IANS

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