Ross said DOT has new measures in place to ensure such “excessive” overruns won’t happen again.
Board member David Doss was chairman during part of that time and in board meetings aggressively pushed the staff to work faster.
“Remember the atmosphere we were working in at the time,” he said, saying legislators complained DOT didn’t get projects out fast enough and that it had money it wasn’t spending. “The board was trying very hard to be responsive,” he said.
The $75 million is one payment of several. As of 2008, said Angela Whitworth, DOT’s director of finance, the overruns added up to about $250 million, but DOT has been paid them down to about $158 million. The agency plans to set aside $50 million in the next fiscal year and $25 million the year after that.
DOT is also paying $185 million annually in debt service for the original cost of the projects, according to DOT officials. Last year the agency spent $1 billion on road projects.