wrestles to fund the nation's highways, a report released Jan.
17 says congestion on interstate highways is hurting the system's
capacity to move people and goods.
the nation's 45,000 miles of interstate highway increased by 37
percent from 1991 to 2001, according to The Road Information Program
(TRIP), a non-profit Washington, DC, group supported by the transportation
lists the five states with the busiest interstates as California,
Maryland, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Washington. The TRIP report,
drawn from Federal Highway Administration data, predicts traffic
on the interstate system will increase 42 percent over the next
two decades. Truck traffic is expected to grow 54 percent.
Young (R-AK), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee, said the report highlights difficult issues, as reported
by USA Today.
must reauthorize long-term funding for transportation this year.
Young said funding must increase $31 billion to $40 billion a
year "just to maintain the system as it is today."
big rub is where are we going to find the money," Young said.
could come from an increase in the federal fuel tax, now 18.4
cents a gallon, or from a greater use of cash reserves in the
federal highway trust fund. That fund finances road building and
repair with fuel-tax revenue.
report had some good news. It said the condition of the interstate
system had shown improvements in the past five years – for example,
the condition of interstate bridges has improved, and the amount
of interstate miles listed in poor condition dropped from 27 percent
in 1996 to 16 percent in 2001.