WASHINGTON — A new Reason Foundation study analyzing road trends over the past two decades challenges claims of "crumbling infrastructure," which have been used by transportation advocates and policymakers as justification for everything from higher taxes to new or expanded bond programs.

The study, led by David T. Hartgen, an emeritus professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, found that spending on state-controlled roads actually increased from 1989 to 2008, while the conditions of roads and bridges have actually improved as well.

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