That's the sound of the entire federal transportation program coming to a complete standstill, thanks to the political posturing of one lame-duck senator. Please note this post does not represent any endorsement of one particular party over another.
Yes, last Thursday Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) decided to hold up not only the Highway Trust Fund extension (the transportation bill that funds nearly all federal roadway projects - it expired in 2009, but Congress hasn't gotten around to reauthorizing it yet), but federal unemployment benefits, too. In the middle of a recession. Seriously.
The fallout, according to the U.S. DOT:
2,000 DOT employees furloughed;
all transportation projects on federal lands halted, due to the recall of federal inspectors;