Highways and Bridges
The U.S. highway system includes nearly 4 million miles of public roads, including 46,837 miles of interstate and 115,319 miles of other National Highway System routes. About 76 percent of these roads are locally owned, with 20 percent state owned, and 3 percent federal.
NHS Bridge Rehabilitation and Replacement Estimates
The National Bridge Investment Analysis System (NBIAS) model analyzes rehabilitation and replacement investment for all bridges, including those on the NHS. The current NHS bridge investment backlog is estimated to be at least $32.1 billion (in 2004 dollars).
Key National Studies on Transportation Funding
National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) study
“Future Funding Options to Meet Highway and Transit Needs,” December 2006
This NCHRP study forecasts that fuel and vehicle taxes are likely to continue to be the mainstay of transportation funding. Tolling in most congested urban corridors is becoming an increasingly important capacity expansion tool. The use of existing and emerging finance tools and public private partnerships can play a role in raising additional investment capitol and advancing project delivery.
“Transportation Research Board Special Report 285: The Fuel Tax and Alternatives for Transportation Funding,” April 2006
This report assesses current revenue practices and advances the following funding possibilities: Create an extensive system of tolled limited access highways and expressway lanes employing existing electronic toll collection technology and variable pricing; the use of ramp metering and mileage charging for the costs of individual trips offers the best opportunity for increasing the cost-effectiveness of transportation spending and mitigating congestion; maintain and reinforce the existing user-fee finance system.
National Conference of State Legislatures “Surface Transportation Funding Options for States,” May 2006
This report analyzes needs and options for state legislators and explores funding obstacles to surface transportation funding decisions. The report finds that many challenges—including the declining value of the gas tax against inflation, opposition to tax and fee increases, citizen initiatives, constitutional and statutory restrictions on the use of gas tax revenues, and federal lawmaking—significantly affect state transportation resources. There are a variety of other options can be used to provide a more balanced approach to transportation funding. Some are as simple as eliminating the diversion of transportation-derived revenues to non-transportation purposes. Options include many procurement tools to speed project delivery or lower projects costs, tapping private investment through public-private partnerships, using different bond and financing mechanisms, and utilizing different matching options to better leverage funds used on federal-aid transportation projects.
AASHTO also has several key reports on transportation investment needs and funding options, including those listed below