CREDIT: Lauren Dyson, Traffic Technology International, August/September 2015
It is no secret that transportation funding in the USA is at crisis point. The Highway Trust Fund, which is the source of more than 50% of highway, bridge and roadway infrastructure investments made by state governments, is reliant on receiving a fuel tax of 18.4 cents/gallon of gasoline and 24.4 cents/gallon of diesel, plus related excise taxes. However, with greater fuel efficiency from internal combustion engines, as well as the growing popularity of hybrid and electric vehicles and green incentives changing traveling behavior, revenues from tax are falling. Furthermore, the gas tax hasn’t increased since 1993, despite rising infrastructure costs. The result is that a lack of substantial long-term federal funding has left many state authorities with no choice but to cancel or delay critical construction and road infrastructure projects.