WASHINGTON — A total of about $101 billion, plus increases for inflation, will be needed annually over the next 20 years from federal, state,and local governments to keep the highway system in its current state, the Department of Transportation said Friday.
Another $20.8 billion to $24.5 billion will be necessary to maintain the nation’s transit systems and to accommodate expected transit ridership growth, the department said in a report entitled “2010 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges and Transit: Conditions and Performance.”
The report cited data from 2008 showing that all levels of government spent a combined total of $91.1 billion on highway capital improvements and $16.1 billion on transit capital improvements in that year.
The DOT issued the report a day after the Senate passed a two-year transportation bill worth $109 billion, maintaining federal levels at close to current levels. A five-year, $260 billion bill pending in the House, which Republicans are working to revise, also aims to maintain spending at current levels.
“We see significant improvements with every dollar,” said Victor Mendez, administrator of the Federal Highway Administration. “The president called on us to create an America built to last, and while we have a long way to go to upgrade our nation’s highways and bridges, we owe it to future generations to get to work and make it happen.”