Federal capital investment in infrastructure has fallen from approximately
2.3 percent of gross national product in 1960 to 1.2 percent in
- Of the nation's 576,508 bridges, 230,620, or 40 percent, are
either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
- Currently, 148,356 bridges are posted or should be posted for
lower weights; another 5,254 bridges are closed to traffic. About
150 bridges collapse, buckle or sag each year.
- Total cost to replace or repair all deficient bridges in the
federal-aid system: $67 billion. Total federal allocation: $1.63
billion per year from 1987 to 1991, a 20 percent drop from previous
- The Interstate highway system is a 42,500-mile network that
represents 1 percent of all roads, streets and highways in the
country and carries 20 percent of all vehicle miles of traffic.
- More than 2.5 million miles of rural roads are the exclusive
financial responsibility of states and local jurisdiction.
- Estimated cost of building a four-lane highway to federal standards:
$1.3 million per mile; two-lane highway: $600,000 per mile.
- Road travel increased 7.6 percent from 1983 to 1985; the average
annual rate is expected to increase 2.85 percent until the year
- The state of South Dakota, as an example, spends $4,000 per
mile each year to maintain its two-lane road system.
- Traffic delays on state highways are projected to increase
174 percent by 1995, with the number of licensed motorists and
registered vehicles to grow by more than 25 percent by 2000.
- Forty-six states have raised their gas tax in the last 10 years,
17 in 1988 and 14 in 1987.
- U.S. airline passengers grew from 169 million to 381 million
between 1970 and 1985.
- No new major airports have been built in the United States
since 1974. Total airport investment needs may exceed $24 billion
in the next 10 years.
- Worldwide forecasts indicate that air travel will double 1986
levels by the year 2000, and double again by 2020.
- In 1970, nearly half of all airline passengers traveled on
routes dominated by one airline. Today that figure is 20 percent.
- In the first 10 years of airline deregulationbetween
1978 and 1988air travelers saved about $100 billion.
- Adjusted for inflation, average airfares in the nation are
down 15 percent since 1984 and 26 percent since 1981.
- From 1978 to 1987, fatal air accidents per million miles traveled
declined by 57 percent.
- Railroad lines declined from 209,826 miles in 1967 to 145,764
miles in 1985.
- Reduced rail service means industry must increasingly use the
nation's roadsmany of them ruralto ship produce. For
example, as a result of rail abandonments and reduced service,
most wood in Minnesota is hauled by truck, requiring new attention
to road quality.
- Amtrak has provided rail passenger service since 1971, when
the federal government began subsidizing rail passenger travel
and permitted railroads to discontinue their money-losing rail
- Approximately half of Amtrak's traffic and revenues are generated
in a passenger corridor between Washington, D.C., and Boston.
- In fiscal year 1987, Amtrak carried more than 20 million passengers
and generated more than 5 billion passenger miles. Still, Amtrak
incurs an annual deficit of about $600 million.
Sources: National Council on Public Works Improvement, U.S.
Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Fortune,
General Accounting Office, Highway Users Federation, Congressional
Research Service, South Dakota Department of Transportation.