Obama signs stop-gap transportation bill

By the Associated Press | March 30, 2012 | 12:15 PM EDT

President Barack Obama waves as he boards Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, March 30, 2012, as he travels to Vermont and Maine. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed a three-month extension of a transportation bill to keep federal highway and transit aid flowing. The move prevents a widespread shutdown of construction projects.

The White House says Obama signed the 90-day extension before departing for Vermont Friday. The government's authority to spend money on transportation programs and levy federal fuel taxes was set to expire on Saturday.

The move sets up congressional action later this year on a long-term overhaul of transportation programs. The last long-term law expired in 2009 — this is the ninth extension since then.

Democrats estimated that as many as 1.8 million construction-related jobs were at risk without the extension. The government would also have lost about $110 million a day in uncollected gas and diesel taxes.