Montana Department of Transportation Director Mike Tooley announced this week the delay of approximately $144.5 million in road repair projects.  Executive Director Cary Hegreberg told the Montana Contractors Association the state faces a budget shortfall that could ultimately kill the contracts altogether.  Tooley’s office told the association thirty projects across the state are being affected.
$130 million of that price tag would come from federal sources and $14.5 million from state funds required as a match.  The contracts are delayed until May and likely could be delayed further if the Legislature does not provide additional funding to the Department of Transportation — something that is unlikely given additional cuts to the construction programs proposed for future years.  Hegreberg said this year’s canceled contracts are likely to trigger layoffs by Montana businesses. The Highway Special Revenue Fund was projected to run out of money by July 2017.