In light of reduced highway funding and aging transportation infrastructure in Rhode Island, Gov. Donald L. Carcieri last Wednesday announced the formation of a blue ribbon panel designed to tackle transportation funding over the next four to five years. The 12-member group will assess the state’s transportation needs and identify potential funding sources.

“As is the case in states throughout our nation, Rhode Island’s transportation needs far outweigh available resources,” Carcieri said in a statement. “With a projected deficit of the federal highway trust fund in 2009, there is a national concern that the federal government will reduce transportation funding to all states. We could see a 30% to 40% decrease in federal transportation funding. If that happens, Rhode Island could stand to lose $60 million- $70 million in transportation funding each year.”

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