Audit: Transportation Department Wasted $152 Million

State auditors say the Transportation Department is wasting millions of dollars and doesn't know how to assess its problems.

Auditors say the department spent $152 million in unnecessary construction costs on delayed highway projects in a three-year period ending in March.

The study reviewed 390 highway projects completed during the period and found 40 percent missed their start date by more than a year. Auditors say the delays directly contributed to cost overruns through inflation.

The report says the Transportation Department isn't fixing the problems because it doesn't understand how to organize data and analyze a project's problems.

Transportation Secretary Lyndo Tippett says he agrees with the data assessment and has set up a team to examine the agency's data