Changes Proposed for the Funding of Public Works Projects Would Expedite Economic Development and Job Opportunities

CED-77-86: Published: Jul 7, 1977. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 1977.

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Fifteen hundred public works projects, or over 50% of those approved by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) since 1965, have been delayed in getting under construction, causing economic development and job opportunities to be postponed or lost.

Between fiscal years 1966 and 1975, the EDA approved grants of $1.4 billion to construct 2,800 public works projects in areas of substantial and persistent unemployment. Although construction should start within 1 year after the project is approved, 54% of these projects exceeded 1 year, and 20 projects approved over 5 years ago are not yet under construction. Millions of dollars have remained obligated to some projects, while others have not been approved for lack of funds. Delays often occur because projects are approved on the basis of preliminary design. Creation of a two-step grant system would permit reuse of funds if projects experienced considerable delays during design.

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