Over the past ten years, per mile costs for highway maintenance and construction have risen much faster than general wholesale and retail prices in the U.S. economy. This report examines historical data on highway maintenance costs, highway construction costs, and general wholesale prices in order to help explain the disproportionate impact of inflation upon highway costs and to project future highway cost increases through 1985. Time-series regressions are used to model highway costs increases as functions of cost increases in the general wholesale sector. Results indicate that construction costs respond quickly to economic changes, with average cost increases 1-1/2 times the general inflation rate. In contrast, maintenance costs tend to be more stable over time and respond slowly to inflationary pressures. These differences can be attributed to differences in the connractual procedures which state and local governments use to supply maintenance and construction. Finally, an examination of the highway expenditure increases legislated by the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1978 indicates they are insufficient to compensate for expected cost increases.

  • Corporate Authors:

    General Motors Corporation

    Research and Development Center, 30500 Mound Road
    Warren, MI  United States  48090
  • Authors:
    • Phillips, B A
  • Publication Date: 1980-2-22

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00331370
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GMR-3231
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 15 1981 12:00AM