Transportation departments in some states are bracing themselves for staggering cuts to construction projects as the federal highway trust fund dries up and the Federal Highway Administration implements a rationing of reimbursements this week. The announcement exacerbated worries about the fund, which officials now expect to see at least a $3.1 billion shortfall by the end of fiscal 2009.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced on Friday that the fund is already headed for a zero balance by the end of this month, and that the FHWA would begin paying reimbursements to states on an as-available, pro-rated basis to keep the fund balanced. The outlays will be made weekly instead of twice-daily.

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