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Executive Summary

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This document is a summary of the report to Congress titled: "1999 Status of the Nation's Highways, Bridges, and Transit: Conditions and Performance" (C&P report). The C&P report is intended to provide Congress and other decision makers with an objective appraisal of highway, bridge and transit system characteristics, finance, physical conditions, operational performance, and future capital investment requirements.

This edition of the C&P report is the fourth in the series that combines information on the Nation's highway and transit systems. The report includes new sections devoted to personal mobility and safety, and expanded analysis of future investment requirements, which are summarized in this document. The full report also contains a series of appendices on special topics including Interstate needs, intermodal freight connectors, asset management, Federal lands highways, Federal highway safety programs, and the costs and benefits of transit. The conditions, performance, and future investment requirements of the National Highway System are examined separately in a special appendix, that parallels the structure of the main body of the report.

As in previous versions, the future investment requirements analysis in this version of the C&P report focuses on 20-year maintain and improve scenarios for highways, bridges, and transit systems. Supplementary technical material has been added to more fully explain the derivation of these estimates. This includes a chapter on sensitivity analysis, which identifies the effects that changing some of the underlying assumptions in the analysis would have on the results. This edition also includes some limited discussion of the potential impacts of other levels of investment aside from those identified in the main scenarios.

The highway investment requirement scenarios were developed using the Highway Economic Requirements System (HERS), an economic analysis tool introduced in the 1995 C&P report. This tool seeks to minimize highway user costs (travel time costs, vehicle operating costs, and crash costs), agency maintenance costs, and societal costs, as it achieves the defined scenario objective.

The transit investment requirement scenarios were developed using the Transit Economic Requirements Model (TERM), an economic analysis tool introduced in the 1997 C&P report. TERM evaluates transportation system user benefits (travel time savings, reduced highway-user costs, and improved mobility), transit agency benefits and social benefits.

The bridge investment requirements were developed using the Bridge Needs and Investment Process (BNIP), an engineering analysis tool. BNIP is being phased out in favor of the National Bridge Investment Analysis System (BIAS), which will add an economic component to the bridge analyses.