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  Conditions and Performance Report
Executive Summary

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Finance: Highway and Bridge

Taken together, all levels of government spent $101.3 billion for highways in 1997. The Federal Government funded $21.1 billion (20.8 percent). States funded $52.7 billion (52.1 percent). Counties, cities and other local government entities funded $27.5 billion (27.1 percent).

Highway-user revenues—the total amount generated from motor-fuel taxes, motor-vehicle fees, and tolls—were $89.9 billion in 1997. Of this, $64.7 billion was spent on highways. This represented 60.8 percent of total revenues generated for highways in 1997 (including amounts placed in reserves for expenditure in future years). Highway-user revenues would have been sufficient to cover 88.8 percent of all highway expenditures if the full amount had been used for highways.

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Total highway expenditures increased 8.3 percent between 1995 and 1997. Highway spending rose faster than inflation over this period, growing 2.0 percent in constant dollar terms. Since a low point in 1981, highway spending has grown 50.2 percent in constant dollars. Expenditures for highway law enforcement and safety have been growing faster than other types of highway expenditures.

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Capital outlay grew to $48.7 billion in 1997, a 10.2 percent increase since 1995. Federal funds accounted for $20.0 billion, or 41.1 percent of total capital outlay. Since 1987, the Federal share has remained in a range from 41 to 46 percent.

Approximately $23.2 billion of capital funds (27.2 percent) were used for system preservation; $7.6 billion went for new roads and bridges; $14.0 billion went for adding new lanes to existing roads; and $3.9 billion went for system enhancements, such as safety, operational or environmental improvements.

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