States will receive $473 million to repair roads and bridges, money originally set aside for earmarks between fiscal years 2003 and 2006, the White House announced Friday.
Spending bills for those years allow the transportation secretary to make unused earmarks available for surface transportation projects, the White House said.
“We are freeing up these funds so states can get down to the business of moving transportation projects forward and putting our friends and neighbors back to work,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in the release.
By Oct. 1, states must identify the projects they plan to use the funds for and obligate those funds by Dec. 31.
State departments of transportation can use their unspent earmarked highway funds, some the White House says are nearly 10 years old, on any eligible highway, transit, passenger rail or port project.
Any funds not obligated by Dec. 31 will be proportionally redistributed in fiscal 2013 to states that met the deadline.