UPDATE: Southeast states tout highway funds

BILOXI — Transportation officials from across the Southeast say federal stimulus funds have allowed them to create and preserve road construction jobs during the slumping economy.

They spoke at a news conference Tuesday during a meeting of the Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

SASHTO’s 12 member states are to receive over $7 billion in stimulus funding for highways and bridges.

Dan Flowers, executive director of Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, says his state has awarded $162 million for 69 projects.

Paul A. Mattox, secretary of the West Virginia Department of Transportation, says his state has $148 million in projects under contract.

Mississippi DOT director Butch Brown says more than $225 million in projects are under construction.

The Associated Press