The feasibility of modernizing the Interstate highway system via toll finance

This paper addresses two related problems: how to pay for reconstruction and modernization of the aging Interstate highway system and how to deal with political opposition to increased use of direct charging for highway use. It proposes introducing tolling only on individual corridors as they are reconstructed and (if needed) widened. First, the cost of reconstructing all existing Interstate lane-miles is estimated, using Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Highway Economic Requirements System (HERS) unit cost data. The cost of adding lanes, where indicated by projected growth in light and heavy vehicle travel, is estimated using HERS unit costs. The revenue that could be generated by an inflation-adjusted per-mile tolling system (to be implemented via all-electronic tolling) on this rebuilt and modernized system is estimated. Finally, the net present value of toll revenues is compared with the net present value of modernization cost as an initial estimate of financial feasibility. The analysis is carried out for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.


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  • Accession Number: 01530772
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 23 2014 3:46PM