The U.S. Department of Transportation March 16 announced a new report on the state of America’s transportation infrastructure points to a sizeable gap between current spending and projected levels of investment needed to maintain the nation’s highway and transit systems.
DOT’s report, “2010 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges and Transit: Conditions and Performance,” projects that $101 billion, plus increases for inflation, would be needed annually over the next 20 years from all levels of government – local, state and federal – to keep the highway system in its current state. It also identifies investments to improve the current state of highways and bridges that could total up to $170 billion a year.
The report shows that in 2008, all levels of government spent a combined $91.1 billion on highway capital improvements, a 48.4 percent increase over 2000. The Obama administration’s fiscal year 2013 budget request calls for $305 billion for highway programs over six years, which reflects a 34 percent increase for roads and bridges over the previous authorization to address the outstanding need for resources.
DOT’s report projects that between $20.8 billion and $24.5 billion will be needed annually over the next 20 years to attain a state of good repair for the nation’s transit systems and to accommodate expected transit ridership growth. In contrast, all levels of government combined spent only $16.1 billion on transit capital improvements in 2008. The Obama administration budget request includes $108 billion over the six years for transit options, a 105 percent increase over the previous authorization levels.
“Conditions and Performance” is a biennial report to Congress that provides information on the physical and operating characteristics of the highway, bridge and transit components of the nation’s surface transportation system.