National Report Indicates States Are Spending More on Road Expansion Than Repair

Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense recently released their Repair Priorities 2014 report.  This report analyzes road conditions and state department of transportation spending priorities for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Between 2009 and 2011, the latest year with available data, states collectively spent $20.4 billion annually to build new roadways and add lanes to existing roads. America’s state- owned road network grew by 8,822 lane-miles of road during that time, accounting for less than 1 percent of the total in 2011.

During that same time, states spent just $16.5 billion annually repairing and preserving the other 99 percent of the system, even while roads across the country were deteriorating. On a scale of good, fair or poor, 21 percent of America’s roads were in poor condition in 2011. Just 37 percent of roads were in good condition that year—down from 41 percent in 2008.

While the percentage of funds granted for state-owned road repairs increased since 2008 on average nationally, the report indicates that states overall are still investing more in road expansion than repair.  Due to the high costs associated with poorly maintained roads, the report suggests a number of strategies that state officials can take to allocate a greater portion of funds towards repairing existing state-owned roads.

For a full copy of the report, click here.