Trends in Federal and State Capital Investment in Highways

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Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Amid projections that freight traffic will increase 65 percent by 2020 and that traffic congestion will worsen, many transportation officials are concerned about the challenge of maintaining and improving the condition and performance of the nation's highway infrastructure. In 1998, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century increased funding for highways by 27 percent in real terms over the previous surface transportation authorization act--the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). Nevertheless, the Federal Highway Administration estimates that the nation will need to spend about $76 ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. June 18, 2003.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Amid projections that freight traffic will increase 65 percent by 2020 and that traffic congestion will worsen, many transportation officials are concerned about the challenge of maintaining and improving the condition and performance of the nation's highway infrastructure. In 1998, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century increased funding for highways by 27 percent in real terms over the previous surface transportation authorization act--the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). Nevertheless, the Federal Highway Administration estimates that the nation will need to spend about $76 billion--or 18 percent more than it spent in 2000--each year through 2020 to maintain the average conditions and performance of the nation's highways and bridges, and about $107 billion or 65 percent more than it spent in 2000 to efficiently improve the highway system. These projections raise concerns because both the federal government and state governments are facing budget deficits in the years ahead, totaling hundreds of billions of dollars. As the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works prepares to reauthorize TEA-21 and establish funding levels for the next several years, it asked us to provide historical information on the nation's investment in its highway infrastructure. In particular, the Subcommittee asked that we (1) identify overall trends in the nation's capital investment in its highway system over the past 20 years, particularly since the enactment of TEA-21 in 1998--and compare the trends in federal spending with the trends in state and local government spending; (2) determine how these trends in highway capital investment compare with the fiscal capacity of both the nation and individual states to fund these programs, particularly since the enactment of TEA-21 in 1998; and (3) provide information on sources of funds used by states for their highway programs."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • June 18, 2003

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Trends in Federal and State Capital Investment in Highways, text, June 18, 2003; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302007/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.