The Meaning of Highway Purpose

This paper reviews all relevant case law from the decade of the 1920's to date to ascertain if the courts have remained consistent in their interpretation of the "highway purpose" concept. Cases are considered which can be identified as involving an expenditure of highway funds for uses and purposes directly related to highway construction (expenditure for purpose of right-of-way, for roadside rest and vista sites, for salaries and expenses of highway personnel, for building construction, purchase of machinery, for safety, for lighting and structures), as well as for indirectly related purposes (expenditure for purchase of insurance, for advertising). Cases involving the use of funds to defray cost of administration and funds for turnpike construction are also considered. A distinct category of cases has been decided that involve the use of highway funds to reimburse third persons in the private sectors. Such cases relate to expenditure for breach of contract, for personal injuries and other damages, and for utility relocation. The use of funds to reimburse public third persons - special improvement districts and sales tax, the use of tax to support other forms of transportation, and the question of whether earmarked funds may be used for other public purposes (related or unrelated to highway purpose) are also considered.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
  • Authors:
    • Holloway, J P
  • Publication Date: 1975-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 15p
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01684201
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NCHRP Project 20-6
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Oct 25 2018 2:18PM