THE HIGHWAY CAPITAL PROBLEM

This attempt to illustrate certain investment conditions (based on actual experience) and display these in terms of various economic and transportation indexes, utilizes indicators and graphic comparisons to review the background of developments in highway finance, draw relationships between highway capital outlay and various economic and performance indicators, and examine the impact of inflation on highway needs. Concern is expressed that the level of public investments for highways is not keeping pace with the requirements to maintain an adequate level of service. The capital outlay for highways is examined, the annual expenditures for highway capital improvement by all units of government since 1970 are reported, and comment is made on highway improvements as percent of the GNP. The data indicate that inflation together with restrictions on the obligation of highway funds have significantly reduced the amount of highway construction in recent years. Authorization, expenditures and employment are also declining. The trends indicate that as travel has increased capital investments in 1967 dollars has decreased. Studies to determine the total estimated cost of road improvement are discussed, and comments are made on the highway share of the GNP. It is noted that although the annual disbursements for highways has increased, the proportion allocated for capital improvements has decreased to less than one-half; highway construction unit prices have doubled since 1967; the highway construction share of the GNP has declined from 1.2 percent (1970) to 0.85 percent (1975); and highway needs as cited in studies, continue to increase.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Department of Transportation

    Office of Program and Policy Planning, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Cooper, T W
    • McKeawn, S N
  • Publication Date: 1975-8

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 36 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00127496
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 10 1976 12:00AM