November 20, 2020
Many state transportation agencies continue to develop revenue forecasts — and rework them — to determine how much money they can expect to lose in fuel tax revenue, tolls and transit fares in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. But some have been tactical and passed legislation designed to help offset revenue shortfalls: Maine Maine voters approved a $105 million transportation bond measure by a margin of 78% in July. The Revenue Forecasting Committee estimates a Highway Fund drop of approximately $30 million in the current fiscal year followed by a drop of another $30 million in the next biennium. Bruce Van Note, commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation, said the bond measure allowed the agency to put out contracts for work, allowing it to accelerate 10 projects representing $33 million. Van Note described the time when the pandemic was striking across the country this spring as a “strategic inflection point.” MaineDOT had the choice to “contract and seize up” or respond to the reality of lower traffic volumes, he said.
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