The state could lose nearly $800 million from the national Highway Trust Fund as early as August.
The money is used to build and maintain highways, bridges and harbors.
State Sen. Kalani English, head of the Senate transportation committee, says that could mean big problems for Hawaii in more ways than one.
“The DOT is sitting on probably $800 million worth of federal moneys that haven’t been expended, so really the greater fear for me as a policy maker is that the Feds will come in and take the money back,” he said.
A department spokesperson says the DOT recognizes the seriousness of the problem and is pushing projects forward, but the department acknowledges that there is a possibility the federal government could ask for the money back if it’s not spent.